Elderly individuals are often hesitant to stop driving. They still want the freedom that they’ve known for most of their lives. Plus, it’s hard to define when the time has come, as it’s different for everyone. These conversations can be hard for family members to have.
That said, a police officer from Mississippi did say that elderly drivers can be a high risk on the road. He admitted that some accidents are attributed to age and the issues that come with it — slower reaction times, for example, or limited physical abilities.
Even when the elderly are not involved in accidents, though, he said they sometimes had serious problems behind the wheel. They would get disoriented, for instance, something that can be dangerous at 70 mph. Many drivers would wind up getting lost and being very confused about where they were and where they were trying to go.
The officer referred to these as Silver Alerts.
Some elderly drivers were asked about their own position, and one woman’s answer shed some light on how infrequently driver’s licenses are actually renewed after they’re given out, even in old age. She was 87 years old at the time, and she said that she was just going to stop driving when her current license expired. That would happen at age 94, in 2024. She said she felt like that would be a good time to give it up.
This is a complex topic, but the fact remains that issues connected to aging can and do cause car accidents. Those who are hurt in these crashes must know if they have a legal right to financial compensation.
Source: The Dispatch, “Too old to drive?: Seniors giving up car keys often a thorny topic for families,” Slim Smith, Oct. 28, 2017