Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

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Wanlock Dod
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Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby Wanlock Dod » 19 Jan 2019, 2:26pm

Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Some discussion of this on the BBC this morning about how elderly drivers aren't actually the risky ones, time to a Look where you're going! campaign maybe?

Regardless, I'm hopeful that CUK (and others) will be getting behind whatever momentum there is in this to move things in a beneficial direction.

reohn2
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby reohn2 » 19 Jan 2019, 2:48pm

There's definitely a time long over due for stricter driving licence control but I'd suggest it isn't just age related.There are many drivers with many points on their licences and some with multiple serious driving convictions still driving dangerously.
As for elderly drivers there's also a case for accessment of driving,and definitely a case for holding an eyesight test certificate.I heard on Radio4 earlier the number of people driving without ever having their eyesight tested in the lives,I forget the number but it was in the high tens of thousands! :shock:
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fastpedaller
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby fastpedaller » 19 Jan 2019, 3:48pm

My Father-In-Law ( 90 yrs) only gave up driving last year when he went for an eye test at the hospital. They asked him if he'd driven there and could MIL drive home. He was eventually persuaded to give up driving when they asked him if he had grandchildren, and how he'd feel if someone ran them over because they couldn't see :( He had got to the stage where he asked MIL to alert him to the existence of any traffic lights! The sorry situation is that it seems no eye test professional can take steps to get the licence withdrawn - only 'advise'. I'm not suggesting instant removal ie the driver should have the right to a second qualified opinion - but some sense of reality should prevail.

ThePinkOne
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby ThePinkOne » 19 Jan 2019, 5:48pm

For many elderly people, in these days of spread-out "communities" there is a massive incentive NOT to give up the car, especially if physical fitness/condition is poor. Giving up a car may mean loneliness and a total inability to get out the house for quite a few people- even those with families nearby.

As with all strategies to "cut car use" (for any reason) the stick just won't work effectively unless there is a viable alternative- and I suggest in the case of elderly drivers we're talking about regular, reliable, frequent and low-cost public transport that goes where people need it to, and when people need it to. Having a 0.25 mile walk to a bus-stop for a bus that runs only twice an hour and stops at 18:00 (and we're talking a fair-sized town here) is about as much use as a chocolate tea-pot in replacing a car for someone who is a bit infirm. ('m thinking of my MiL who is in her 80's and has chronic and serious back pain and can't walk far- the only way she can feasibly get out is in a car).

Whilst I recognise the importance of the need to address the society car addiction, I'm rather frustrated by the too-easy "punishment oriented" approach of some policy-makers, presumably they don't care because they are rich and healthy/mobile enough for it not to hurt them. Whereas a proper public transport system and a re-orientation of the social set-up away from cars (e.g. business rates structures and commercial rents that encourage town centre development over out-of-town megacomplexes, decent housing at a low price and with close access to amenities) would transform the lives of a lot of people......

TPO

mattsccm
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby mattsccm » 19 Jan 2019, 6:41pm

As above but I see the example as rather minor. Think about rural situations where the nearest shop of any sort is a few miles away as is the doctors. Buses run never within a couple of miles and then once each way a day. Even fit and well people in their 80's are not going to get on their bikes to go out. Its the car or nothing.
My parents have to drive 3 miles to a bus stop. The shop is nearer. Take away their car and they stay at home. Sooner or later it will have to go but I know that they will hang on as long as possible. Probably longer than we would wish for.
I see no solution. Public transport good enough to be attractive just won't ever exist.

ambodach
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby ambodach » 19 Jan 2019, 7:11pm

If my driving license goes I might as well be dead. I still drive a couple of hundred miles if necessary. A hospital visit can entail that and I feel confident doing so. In addition I drive a motorhome and I drive to visit family. My eyesight is checked annually so no problems there. Where I live is at the top of a steep hill which I can still cycle up but not with shopping. My walking is bad due to a degenerative spinal condition and the bus service is rudimentary at best. Without a car I would be lost for everyday usage due to the aforementioned steep hill.

Steady rider
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby Steady rider » 19 Jan 2019, 7:35pm

One option could be to consider a maximum speed limit on most rural roads for the over 70's, perhaps 50 mph. With driverless cars around the corner it may not matter in 10 years time.

thirdcrank
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby thirdcrank » 19 Jan 2019, 7:56pm

I'm not trying to be funny but when was the last time anybody complained about older drivers going too fast?

brynpoeth
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby brynpoeth » 19 Jan 2019, 8:03pm

Steady rider wrote:One option could be to consider a maximum speed limit on most rural roads for the over 70's, perhaps 50 mph. With driverless cars around the corner it may not matter in 10 years time.

A maximum speed limit for all motrons, lower for tricks and buses

Old people should move into town so they need not drive, I thought one could order anything for delivery now, no need to go shopping, the safety of others may not be compromised!

Age to start driving, earliest 17+8=25
Age to stop driving, latest 97-8=89, latest

Anyone got specific medical knowledge about capabilities of older people, vision, perception, reactions?
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras & STOP signs

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby Wanlock Dod » 19 Jan 2019, 8:14pm

thirdcrank wrote:I'm not trying to be funny but when was the last time anybody complained about older drivers going too fast?

Quite, recently qualified drivers are a higher risk. Until we can stop picking on minority out-groups as scapegoats we won't be able to tackle the real cause of the problem though will we.

These days I tend to think that one of the main reasons that we rely so much on cars isn't because they are so great for everything, but that we have quite committed to not providing any reasonable alternatives at any scale. Whilst we are concerned about the effect that a loss of mobility would have on the elderly who have experienced it, we never seem to spare a thought for all of the kids who are reliant on parents giving them lifts everywhere and have never really experienced the privilege of personal mobility (and almost certainly won't until they get a car).

PaulaT
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby PaulaT » 19 Jan 2019, 9:59pm

Steady rider wrote:One option could be to consider a maximum speed limit on most rural roads for the over 70's, perhaps 50 mph. With driverless cars around the corner it may not matter in 10 years time.


Out of interest how would you define a rural road? Most of our motorway network is outside of urban areas so might be considered rural. Dido most of our trunk roads.

The other issue here is that people age at different rates so what ever age you decide to cut thing off at (which will obviously much. much older that you are) you'll unfairly disqualify quite a lot of completely safe and competent drivers. And lets not forget that statistically older people are safer drivers. If you really want to improve road safety then get the under 25s off the road.

softlips
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby softlips » 19 Jan 2019, 10:07pm

Steady rider wrote:One option could be to consider a maximum speed limit on most rural roads for the over 70's, perhaps 50 mph. With driverless cars around the corner it may not matter in 10 years time.


The elderly tend to drive slower anyway.

Given the evidence that most accidents occur when 17-25 year old men are driving then perhaps these individuals should be limited instead.

mattsccm
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby mattsccm » 19 Jan 2019, 10:12pm

Move to towns! So its forced relocation is it? Online shopping. Yeah right. Few 70+ people I know do the web.
Any rural dweller will tell you that a car is essential. By rural I don't mean some market town. I mean the place where houses have names and are half a mile apart.
The above doesn't answer the question of course. Only good thing is that the unsafe elderly are relatively few and there is a greater chance of being killed by a delivery driver or a tourist.
Our main defence is education and more effectively punishment.
10 k quid for every mph over the limit, 100,000 for phone use etc. You won't educate the idiotsvbut you might scare a few. Overall it will calm people down.
Speed limits. Ha. Policed by who?

brynpoeth
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby brynpoeth » 19 Jan 2019, 11:57pm

Some old people can hardly walk, hardly read, have to ask the cashier to count the coins for them
They probably should not be driving, right?

I plan to live on the edge of town in retirement, I am planning now, shall be glad not to drive any more, maybe I shall get a trike

Reduced maximum speed limits (for all ages!) could easily be enforced by gps
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras & STOP signs

Tangled Metal
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby Tangled Metal » 20 Jan 2019, 12:27am

I moved to the town I live in when about 30 years old. Part of the reason was I had several options to get to work where I lived. It was also reasonably close to where I work. I could have moved to a lot of places but this place suited me best.

In my family people moved to be nearer family members who were getting elderly and might need help or they moved nearer family members who would be able to help them because they're getting elderly.

My point is that where you live has to work for you. That's the same for any age. If you are getting infirm in any way that could affect your driving and there's no other practical way to get anywhere where you're living then it's practical to consider moving somewhere with better public transport and facilities nearby. As I said above, in our family that has been the normal behaviour.

As far as driving, I believe if you cannot identify the hazards with your driving then you should give it up or there needs to a means to force you to do that. IMHO not identifying the hazards means not realising your driving behaviour / ability is not good enough. That could be applied to elderly or younger drivers. If your driving significantly slower in order to keep safe then that's a good signifier of your possible need to get checked out for fitness to drive. If you're a speeding, younger driver then that's a signifier of a lower understanding of the risks from their short driving experience and the attitude of youth.

Tackle both ends of the age spectrum as there's issues at both ends.