Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving

THINKING > AGE > OLD

Old

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As a youth, no doubt you were excited at the independence obtaining your driver's license meant.

The converse is just as true when the time comes for us to give up driving, and consequently our independence.

In this section we look at pointers for an aged driver to determine if they are are still capable on the road, warning signs, practical tips to prolong their driving activity, and advice for concerned family members to tactfully broach the subject.

? Questions:

Thinking Age Old

Limitations

  • Vision limited - recommend annual checkup.

  • Hearing limited - wear hearing aids when driving.

  • Neck pain or stiffness - restricts mobility or being able to see over the shoulder.

  • Leg pains or joint stiffness can make it difficult to operate foot controls.

  • Weakness in the arms can reduce ability to turn steering quickly enough to correct course or avoid hazards.

  • Medication - that can affect reactions or mental acuity.

Warning Signs

  • Frequent close calls.

  • Delayed reactions.

  • Getting flustered or panicky.

  • Increased traffic tickets or citations.

  • Drifting into other lanes.

  • Unnecessary braking or accelerating.

  • Failure to use or neutralize indicators.

  • Missing traffic signs.

  • Not hearing emergency vehicle sirens or other road users honking.

  • Getting lost or missing exits.

Practical Tips

  • Vehicle:

  •       Automatic transmission.

  •       Power steering.

  •       Always wear a seat belt.

  • Behavior:

  •       Drive in familiar locations.

  •       Drive only during the day.

  •       Avoid heavy traffic or rush hour.

  •       Avoid inclement weather.

  •       Stay away from fast moving traffic such as freeways.

  •       Maintain a safe following distance.

  •       Avoid distractions, such as conversations, due to limited            multi-tasking skills.

Alternatives

  • Mass transit.

  • Friends and/or family.

  • Purchase online.

  • At home providers, such as food delivery or mobile hairdressers, manicurists, etc.

Family Matters

It is a sensitive subject to address when an aged one is no longer fit to drive. Take note of the points below:

  • Assure them of your love and the reason for your concern.

  • Empathize with them as it is a loss of independence and acceptance of old age.

  • Be respectful.

  • Provide alternatives to make the transition easier to adopt.

  • Present facts tactfully.

  • Stick to the issue, driving ability, not their age.

  • If they really are a danger to themselves and others on the road and all else fails, then sadly one will have to be more forceful in removing the keys, but this should be a last resort and hopefully not necessary.

? What is the maximum legal driving age?

The maximum legal driving age, if any, is determined by the laws and regulations of each country or jurisdiction. The majority of countries do not have a specific maximum legal driving age. Instead, the focus is on an individual's ability to meet the necessary requirements for safe driving, such as physical and cognitive fitness.

In some cases, there may be additional requirements or assessments for older drivers to ensure they can continue driving safely. These requirements might include more frequent license renewals, mandatory medical assessments, or vision tests.

It's important to note that age alone does not determine someone's ability to drive safely. Factors such as physical health, cognitive function, vision, and reaction time are crucial considerations. Some older individuals may continue to drive safely well into their later years, while others may experience changes that affect their driving abilities.

If you have concerns about your own or someone else's driving abilities, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a physician or occupational therapist, who can assess the individual's fitness to drive based on their specific circumstances. Additionally, local driving authorities or departments of motor vehicles can provide guidance on any age-related driving regulations or requirements in your area.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving