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Your Name Due Date Driving and the Elderly Considering the Necessity of Yearly Driver’s Testing at Age 70 and Beyond Introduction Most people will tell you that the adage about “growing old gracefully” and improving with age is a bit of a myth…
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Download file to see previous pages For many, that realization is quite difficult to accept and admit. In the case of driving motor vehicles this can sometimes create an issue. Not everyone ages the same rate and not every aging driver is a potential menace on the road, because of age; however, at the same time, the number of car accidents involving elderly drivers, that had nothing to do with alcohol, drugs, or speeding, is sky-rocketing and the only variable is that they were in fact elderly. (Davis, and DeBarros 1) This alludes to the fact that there does become a point when aging drivers are no longer capable of operating a motor vehicle with the same optimum efficiency that they once did. That deficit is not going to improve with age. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to require drivers over a certain age, ideally 70, to commit to yearly driver’s tests to maintain their licenses. Background Age does not necessarily equal poor driving skills. Human beings age differently, some individuals driving competence may be impaired before the age of 70, while others may be well capable of driving well into their 80s. Also, not every instance of accidents is due to an aging driver’s mental illness. Many of the accidents related to the elderly have to do with much more common concerns, like deteriorating vision and decreased response times to physical limitations. That said, not every grey-haired driver that you pass on the road is an accident waiting to happen. Statistically elderly drivers drive less often and shorter distances than younger drivers, and yet can have accident ratio that makes them even more of a threat than teenage drivers. In fact, the federal statistics show that drivers 85 and older are involved in traffic accidents that result in fatalities an average of three per day.(Davis, and DeBarros 1) Recently instances of elderly drivers involved in accidents has been highlighted in the news and it sparks some serious social and public issues. A feasible and ethical solution must be reached as the number of driving Americans 65 and older will increase to an estimated 69 million by the year 2030.(Copeland 1) The suggestion to require yearly testing of drivers over a certain age has been met with support and criticism. While many see the need for such measures, others are less impressed with the idea and equate it to a form of age discrimination. Finding the best possible solution is becoming quite necessary and important. Discussion As we stated, because all individuals do not age in the same way at the same rate an arbitrary regulation that applies to every driver that would require an automatic license suspension at a certain age would be genuinely unethical. Sometimes accidents happen. Just because one of the driver’s is elderly, the blame cannot not be placed on him, simply, because of his age. Elderly drivers are seldom speeding, drive at night, or take the risks in driving in bad weather.("FoxNews.com: Associated Press" 1) They, also, again are unlikely to be involved in accidents caused by their taking of illegal drugs or alcohol. That said, it is the impairments that come with age that the senior may not be aware of that could be making them a risk and they are, often, not aware of it. The aging population faces many natural psychological issues as they grow older. As they potentially lose their mobility, they may face internal health issues and are less able to do things as easily on their own as they once did. With that, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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