elderly drivers Essay examples

Submitted By feliciaprice327
Words: 1117
Pages: 5

Elderly Behind the Wheel “Grimes drove through a red light. The car slammed into Katie Bolka, a seventeen year old high school junior who was driving to school to take an algebra test, five days later, Bolka died” (usatoday). The elderly are very independent, and they have a reason to be. The present day elderly have been through some of the hardest times of the American people; they have been through the ‘great depression’ and have fought in World War II. Although the elderlies have the right to drive, they should reconsider. Taking a license away from a veteran that failed their eye exam would probably not sit well. Although it is hard to except, this is what is best for the society. Growing old means, having mental health issues, physical health issues, and being much more fragile than they were at the age of eighteen. There is more elderly driving than ever before, because the baby boomers are now becoming elderly. According to Consumer Reports Magazine “Seventy eight percent of Americans seventy and older had drivers licenses in 2008. That’s up from seventy three percent in 1997. To keep our roads safe, and protect our love ones, it is very mandatory to have a second drivers test at the age of sixty five, unless a doctor recommends one even earlier. Some states have already enforced laws to retest the elderly more often. For example, in Rhode Island drivers over seventy have to renew their driver’s license every two years while the rest of the driving population has to renew their license every five years. Connecticut has including things such as only driving in daylight, only driving on roads that are not an access highway, only if vehicles have extra safety equipment, etc. Testing the new drivers is a smart decision which everyone would agree with, this is also how people need to treat the elderly. Even though they have been driving for longer and have more experience than the new drivers, are they really safer behind the wheel? When twenty eight states and the District of Columbia have made and passed laws in forcing better license renewal for the elderly, it is not a topic that should be avoided! As people get older things start not to work as well as they did before. Eyes stop focusing as well as they did, especially at night. Losing your eye sight is one of the most common signs of having to reconsider driving (aoa.org). This normal aging change in the eyes focusing ability, called presbyopia, will continue to progress over time. Loss of hearing is another health condition that affects most elderly drivers, beginning at the age of sixty. (nicdcd.nih.gov) One in three people older than sixty and half of those older than 85 have hearing loss. These are huge numbers considering that they take up about nine percent of the driving population. Signs of having to get checked early may be if you didn’t hear a car honking, or if you did not hear an emergency vehicle behind you that had their lights on. Many people also lose their memory which in some cases it is worse than others. Elderly often suffer from AL timer’s disease. Al timers are a disease that makes a person forgets what and who things are. If an elderly person doesn’t have family around there is no one to control their driving. This is dangerous because they could easily forget where they are going, how to get there, what exit to turn off on. Pains arise in everyone’s life but it is more common in people that’s bodies don’t work as well as others, the elderly. Most of the elderly people are on an abundance of pain medications and or health medications. Elderly most often take muscle relaxants, antidepressants, corticosteroids, over the counter analgesics, no steroidal ant inflammatory drugs, and opiates. These problems themselves could be a huge problem on the road, but the medicines they are prescribed probably are not much better. Older adults are at risk of inadequate pain management, with age related factors affecting pain management. Some