Sunday, August 22, 2010

States Not Prepared for Aging Baby Boomer Drivers

If your doctor suggests you give up driving at the age of 70 due to age and weakened motor skills, will you follow doctor's orders? More importantly, will that information be passed on to your state's Department of Motor Vehicles so they will know NOT to renew your license?

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety believes all states should have medical advisory boards to review driver capabilities. In addition, state licensing policies and practices should put into place standard reporting laws that provide civil immunity for clinicians, law enforcement, and licensing personnel who report people they believe may be medically unfit to drive.

So does that mean if I have a "lead foot" and get a speeding ticket for driving 10 miles over the speed limit, a police officer can declare me unfit to drive? Or what about all of the older drivers who drive below the speed limit?

By 2025, people aged 65 and older will account for 25 percent of all U.S. drivers.

1 comment:

LindaAlexander said...

This smacks of Big Brother & scares me. I'll be one of the first to say folks ought to be tested at a certain age (maybe 70), & yearly thereafter, to verify they still have reflexes good enough to operate a motor vehicle. Yet the idea that a doctor can put on record, & that might snowball ... that's scary.

Let one agency--ie, the DMV--do a standardized test (as we do for younger folks to decide if THEY are qualified), & let that be the arbiter. Don't let it fall into hands of medical personnel, various medical boards, & any/all others who can call in variants on requirements & make it a point of opinion as much, if often not more than, actual ability on the part of that questioned driver.