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

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

Postby Steady rider » 20 Jan 2019, 10:37am

The number of people with serious injury from road traffic accidents, age 16+, reduced from 68108 in 1982 to 20502 in 2011.
for the 0-15 age group, 11k to 2k.

So accidents can be reduced by good measures.
Provide subsidized self-drive small cars for elderly who have problems driving, all carrot without a stick.

Train passes for over 70's would reduce traffic on many main roads and bring trade to coastal towns. In Portugal main line trains are half price for pensioners and not expensive to start with.

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

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Jan 2019, 11:25am

AIUI, medical ethics mean that the doc won't grass you up, but one thing that not everybody seems to appreciate is that there's a long list of medical conditions with a catch-all at the end which the holder of a driving licence is required to notify the DVLA. The DVLA can then require the licence-holder to authorise their doctors to release the information. No authority = no driving licence. This is not restricted to older drivers.

https://www.gov.uk/health-conditions-and-driving

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

Postby Cunobelin » 20 Jan 2019, 12:17pm

thirdcrank wrote:AIUI, medical ethics mean that the doc won't grass you up, but one thing that not everybody seems to appreciate is that there's a long list of medical conditions with a catch-all at the end which the holder of a driving licence is required to notify the DVLA. The DVLA can then require the licence-holder to authorise their doctors to release the information. No authority = no driving licence. This is not restricted to older drivers.

https://www.gov.uk/health-conditions-and-driving


There are responsibilities for Medical Professionals to report drivers to the DVLA, although it is not simple

The "Public Interest" becomes the key

Confidentiality: patients’ fitness to drive and reporting concerns to the DVLA or DVA makes an interesting read, but typically:

If you become aware that a patient is continuing to drive when they may not be fit to do so, you should make every reasonable effort to persuade them to stop. If you do not manage to persuade the patient to stop driving, or you discover that they are continuing to drive against your advice, you should consider whether the patient’s refusal to stop driving leaves others exposed to a risk of death or serious harm. If you believe that it does, you should contact the DVLA or DVA promptly and disclose any relevant medical information, in confidence, to the medical adviser.

pete75
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby pete75 » 20 Jan 2019, 2:16pm

Steady rider wrote:The number of people with serious injury from road traffic accidents, age 16+, reduced from 68108 in 1982 to 20502 in 2011.
for the 0-15 age group, 11k to 2k.

So accidents can be reduced by good measures.
Provide subsidized self-drive small cars for elderly who have problems driving, all carrot without a stick.

Train passes for over 70's would reduce traffic on many main roads and bring trade to coastal towns. In Portugal main line trains are half price for pensioners and not expensive to start with.


They do them at over 60 - third off fares and there are free bus passes. The measures you describe might be better applied to under 25s if they're to be used to improve road safety.

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

Postby brynpoeth » 20 Jan 2019, 2:20pm

I favour restrictions on old and young drivers alike

I am middle-aged :wink:
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al_yrpal
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby al_yrpal » 20 Jan 2019, 2:42pm

The clue is in the thread title - before you cause an accident or serially inconvenience others. But...some folk are selfish, others are stupid and some have emerging dementia. I know one stupid person and another with dementia who shouldnt be driving. In both cases their family are pressurising them to hand over the keys. I know a close friend and my wife who both handed over the keys when they realised they should.

The present system isnt perfect. My 22 year old step grandson has just failed his test for the 8th time... Perhaps a positive eye test should be a requirement after 70, at least that tackles one hazard. At 76 I have no qualms about being able to drive safely day or night. I do use the bus going into Reading but cuts in bus frequency have deterred me from using them and I shop online more frequently. If we didnt have a car to use life would become very dull because my Mrs has recently become permanantly disabled

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

Postby brynpoeth » 20 Jan 2019, 2:54pm

Sooner or later you shall not be able to drive, have you planned for that?

Eight failures, for what reasons? I should give up and try again a few years later :wink:
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cotterpins
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby cotterpins » 20 Jan 2019, 3:19pm

I sold my car when I was eighty-four. I hadn't driven it from dusk to dawn ever since I had my cataract operation, that really opened my eyes to how bad driving conditions are in evening-mist and with the bright headlights. Having a free bus pass really helped me to realise that you can live without a car. Road tax, petrol, and insurance costs certainly pays for quite a few taxi journeys, if we don't want to wait for buses. Inconvenient, of course, but you get used to it. When I'm old though, I'll get one of those electric buggies . . . be a pain to all the pedestrians like some of the old rather bad-mannered, oldies that are about. Now I've given up the Government "money box" I can at least have a pint . . . which I never ever indulged in when I was using a car. As been said, country buses aren't one of the best services . . . but . . .

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

Postby kylecycler » 20 Jan 2019, 3:29pm

There was a TV programme years ago with the title of this thread, more or less, as its title, and I've always remembered a Road Safety Officer answering the question with, "Before the coroner's report, not after." I don't think anything has changed since.

Unless an elderly driver realises they're no longer fit to drive, which they might not even have the faculties to do, it's up to their relatives or friends to take the keys off them. Either that or, almost inevitably, they eventually cause a collision that leads to their licence being rescinded. In the process they might kill themselves or others. Trouble is (if they're still alive), that means they've lost their independence, and it's hard for relatives to be cruel to be kind.

I haven't run a car for years, although I'm still perfectly fit to drive, but I worry more about when I'm no longer able to cycle.

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

Postby al_yrpal » 20 Jan 2019, 3:48pm

brynpoeth wrote:Sooner or later you shall not be able to drive, have you planned for that?

Eight failures, for what reasons? I should give up and try again a few years later :wink:


Yes, we are moving to a town where we can walk and push a wheelchair everywhere living with our daughter. Isnt that enough? Part of that was in my post which you obviously didnt read or understand. Have you planned yours?

As for the reasons for test failure I have no idea.

Why are your posts always so agressive. Whats your problem?

Al
Last edited by al_yrpal on 20 Jan 2019, 4:56pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TrevA
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby TrevA » 20 Jan 2019, 4:34pm

At any age, you should live somewhere that suits your lifestyle. If that lifestyle involves not having a car, then yes, you should move somewhere suitable. I don't get staying in the same house because you've always lived there.

We used to live at the top of a steep hill, but as we are getting on (I'm 59) we chose to move to somewhere flat. I'd just had enough of riding up that hill. We now live in a bungalow in a row of 5 others. We are 20 years younger than most of our neighbours. Our next door neighbour moved from a rural village to our small town. They gave up their car and seem to manage quite nicely. They use their bus passes to visit all of the larger local towns and cities. They have their groceries delivered and are always buying things off the internet, the local courier delivers almost daily. I still drive but I'll happily give up my car when I get my bus pass.

If you live somewhere that doesn't have a good bus service, then move somewhere that does. Ours is excellent. Bus into Nottingham every 10 minutes, until 6pm, every 20 mins in the evening til midnight, and a night bus service at the weekend. You could even go nightclubbing and still catch the late bus home for £3.

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

Postby ThePinkOne » 20 Jan 2019, 5:00pm

All of which would be easier if housing was cheaper and public transport was better........

It's also about alternatives that work. For some people, a garden may be very important (my autistic senses benefit hugely from garden/allotment/quiet) whereas others enjoy "hussle & bustle" environments. The right environment can have a big impact on health.

That's why I think it's a wider society thing. Bus/train passes are not much good if there are few trains/buses, and as per my earlier post, living in a town is no guarantee of (continued) public transport.

I think the biggest barrier is the car as a status symbol/entitlement. I was walking over to the allotment this afternoon and when being passed by a car, the passenger (young male) in a shiney Renault (one of the flavours that is constantly being promoted on pcp) wound down the window and hurled abuse at me. For no reason other than I was walking (along the footway) minding my own business. (Made me wonder maybe I need to buy a scythe for cutting the allotment grass paths and carry it back and forward with me..... :twisted: ) Unfortunately, those who have the highest sense of entitlement/status symbol concerns do seem to be those whose behaviour to people walking/cycling is the worst.

TPO

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

Postby rmurphy195 » 20 Jan 2019, 5:50pm

You can't really put a standard age on elderly road users of any sort - everyone is different.

Drivers/motorcyclists are different only in the type of vehicle they use and the way they are permitted to use it - i.e. a licence - where perhaps at most a regular assessment of some sort must be done, to include at the very least an annual eyesight check.

My fatther in law handed in his keys at age 85, limiting his (and his not-very-mobile wife's independence) not because of his ability, but because he fell victim to a speeding driver as he turned out of T junction (yes, I know, recent events etc). Now while that driver blamed H for the incident, I know that road very well, and believe me, if H had pulled out in front of the offender as she told it, she would not have had time to swerve. But I digress - the stress levels of sorting it out got to him so he admitted liability (wrongly) and handed in his licence to preserve his health. Partly on my advice, because some time after the accident he asked me to sit with him the day before his driving assessment - but his nerves were completely shot and he simply couldn't cope with big-city traffic any more.

On the other hand - heard of Len Vale-Onslow? Still riding his motorbikes at 100, big grin and no worries!

Now for road users - if you are going to talk of blanket bans, you can't simply include drivers and motorcyclists - you have to consider cyclists as well, and for similar reasons.
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby brynpoeth » 20 Jan 2019, 5:56pm

Old people may have trouble with balance and coordination
The best test would be bicycling: someone who can not ride a bicycle may not drive a motor
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basingstoke123
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby basingstoke123 » 20 Jan 2019, 6:04pm

The problem with fixed legal restrictions based on age is that these apply legally to everyone, and cover ALL situations. The 1% (figuratively) of those affected who are unable to work - too bad. The law has to work equally in central London as in rural Devon. If there are problems with increased risks from some groups, then this should be dealt with appropriate restrictions, not blanket restrictions. While much more could be done to give alternatives to car dependency, this will never be 100%.

I grew up on a farm, and passed my driving test when 17, which is what everyone in my peer group did. OK, a few might not pass until they were 18.

Increasing the limit would cause huge problems in rural areas. And no, these young people did not choose where they were born or now live.

Likewise, at the other end. Retired people do usually move somewhere, so that in the future they are not stuck when they can no longer drive. But moving to a village or smaller town can time times end up no better, as these loose their buses, shops, bank, and post office.

Too often laws have been passed to solve real problems, but which as a side effect have caused significant costs or restrictions to people who were not part of the original problem.