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

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

Postby Oldjohnw » 24 Jan 2019, 7:12am

Postby brynpoeth » 24 Jan 2019, 5:43am

Caught exceeding the maximum speed limit, twice? :?


Yes, I know. Sounds like St Theresa running through a cornfield.
John

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

Postby Barks » 24 Jan 2019, 10:04am

Oldjohnw wrote:
Barks wrote
Petrol Heads will invariably complain - the answer is simply that they are not welcome on the roads as they are invariably too dangerou

Invariably means without variation. Perhaps a little extreme? I have always, in almost 53 years of driving, driven manual cars. I have no currently plans to get an auto. I am not a petrol head and my driving record suggest that I am not dangerous, either. I have had two accidents: each where someone came out of a minor road and hit me. I have been caught twice for speeding, each time at 35mph in a 30mph limit. I have made three insurance claims: the two just mentioned plus a theft. The suggestions that I and others are not welcome on the roads is in itself not welcome.


Petrol Heads are not, you are very welcome.

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

Postby The utility cyclist » 24 Jan 2019, 12:52pm

NUKe wrote:
Barks wrote:Exactly, Automatiics are far easier to drive and very much more conducive to smooth acceleration and braking - my original post was to expose the OP’s erroneous assumptions and has been pretty well much supported by those after. What should really happen in this country is that automatics should be the default vehicle (they will be with all electric) and anyone driving a manual should pay hefty extra insurance premuims for the privilege. Petrol Heads will invariably complain - the answer is simply that they are not welcome on the roads as they are invariably too dangerous.

Despite preferring automatics, I can’t see any reason for your assumption that manual shift are more of risk and should pay more money. If they were more risky the insurance companies would have worked it out, and adjusted premiums accordingly.

isn't the insurance premium on autos because of the often significantly more expensive gearbox over a manual? I know insurers are more likely to write off a car these days but a guy I worked with had a high end Carlton with an auto box and he was rear ended whilst commuting in London and the insurers were reluctant to pay up because the gearbox had to be virtually put together from scratch in Germany and was going to bhe 8-10 weeks and was around £5000 (so he told me).
The modern automatic gearboxes nowadays for some cars are incredibly complex and with the semi autos too I'm sure this is why the insurance is more than a manual. I don't agree with your premise about autos being the default, for the mid to lower range cars the autos are still not as good as a manual for overall control IMHO. I also believe that using fully auto you get complacent.

When my granddads eyesight went, it wasn't the gears that was the problem, it wasn't the pedals either, it was not being able to see properly and reaction time, lack of forward planning/hazard perception and taking things for granted/making assumptions/filling in the gaps. That's not to say that doesn't happen to the majority, IMO it does, people are lazy when they drive for one thing, they are also too selfish and yes, too in a rush as I said earlier, plenty of older drivers are tanking it on urban roads probably because that's how they've always driven.

The problem is, is that most of the driving issues are across the board for all age groups in one way or another, which government is actually going to address this in any meaningful way? Indeed which police force, judges and jurors are going to see the heinousness of the carnage that motorists do that has such a detrimental effect on society and act accordingly?

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

Postby thirdcrank » 24 Jan 2019, 1:34pm

The utility cyclist wrote: ... When my granddads eyesight went, it wasn't the gears that was the problem, it wasn't the pedals either, it was not being able to see properly and reaction time, lack of forward planning/hazard perception and taking things for granted/making assumptions/filling in the gaps. ....


How was this resolved? (With apologies if you have covered it and I've missed it.)

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

Postby The utility cyclist » 24 Jan 2019, 2:21pm

thirdcrank wrote:
The utility cyclist wrote: ... When my granddads eyesight went, it wasn't the gears that was the problem, it wasn't the pedals either, it was not being able to see properly and reaction time, lack of forward planning/hazard perception and taking things for granted/making assumptions/filling in the gaps. ....


How was this resolved? (With apologies if you have covered it and I've missed it.)

This was 30 years ago, pops had driven into a stationary HGV parked around a corner that was a bit too close to the junction than it should have been, as he turned round the corner probably assuming it was going to be clear the sun was low down and he was too slow to react, hadn't taken the sun/conditions into account. Though uninjured Despite his Ford Capri 2.0 (with all the go faster stripes 8) :lol: ) not well endowed in the crash protection stakes he was uninjured, it shook my nan and aunties/mum. What if that had been a child running across or a person with a pram/disability scooter that was out of sight? :shock: IMO he got lucky that it was just himself, as is often the case, many motorists get 'lucky' in that they do not harm others but sadly there's far too many instances where that doesn't happen.

They told him he had to pack it in and though he'd been a specialist driver during WWII and had been driving since he was 12 (my gt.pops fruit and veg van) and had a licence to drive pretty much everything that had wheels they managed to persuade him not to get another car (to drive). He still bought a few and did them up, probably drove up the street/round the block to test them when nan wasn't looking and I know he did hanker over driving again (he didn't actually hand his licence in AFAIK) but he had a stroke a few years later so that was a non starter after that as his left side was FUBAR'd.
The last car he bought, a W reg Escort 1.3L, ended up being my first car after I passed my test in '92. My first solo drive was back from Hull to North Herts at night and it piddled it down :lol:
Last edited by The utility cyclist on 24 Jan 2019, 2:31pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby thirdcrank » 24 Jan 2019, 2:30pm

... They told him he had to pack it in ...


Obviously, this could have been worse, but wasn't.

It seems to support my feeling that if the individual driver is reluctant to quit, then family and friends often prevail. The problem is not so frequent as it's portrayed.

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

Postby The utility cyclist » 24 Jan 2019, 2:45pm

thirdcrank wrote:
... They told him he had to pack it in ...


Obviously, this could have been worse, but wasn't.

It seems to support my feeling that if the individual driver is reluctant to quit, then family and friends often prevail. The problem is not so frequent as it's portrayed.

My ex partner's dad had started to develop Alzheimer's, his wife unfortunately was physically broken though sharp as a pin, he was physically capable but losing it mentally, he was a beautiful driver (and I'm ridiculously fussy on driving standards) despite the fact he couldn't remember that he'd asked you if you wanted a brew not 2mins previous.
As things got worse with the Alzheimer's we knew we had to simply remove the car out of sight and mind so sold it to the local dealer for a silly giveaway price. It meant no more easy trips out to Southport where they met but we said that getting a taxi down to the pub/restaurant for a Sunday dinner was still going to be cheaper. I think knowing that your relative could end up hurting someone or worse killing them or even themselves because you didn't act hopefully will make people want to do the right thing despite the hardships in terms of mobility it can bring.

I'm lucky that my mum and my step dad are relatively young and very active, mum's a pretty good driver and he's a retired professional driver of all sorts of large vehicles so is still okay I suppose :wink: She cycles pretty much every day no matter what the weather, even cycling the 5 miles across the city to do her zumba class 8) .
it just goes to show you that if you cycle from an early age then you stay healthier into older age and the reliance on the motorcar isn't anywhere near as much. She's already had a mumble because I mentioned electric bike and said she not THAT old (at 68) :lol:

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

Postby awavey » 24 Jan 2019, 9:12pm

brynpoeth wrote:An incompetent young or old driver might engage gear in automatic, the vehicle the then moves
In a manual they might stall the engine :?


and its not the left foot, its the right foot that does it, unless you are a racing driver very few people actually left foot brake and in a manual youd have to hop off the brakes to clutch to stop stalling, its simpler to brake right footed as it stops you also trying to accelerate at the same time, but they put an auto in gear it picks up lurches forward or starts creeping, they stamp down with their right foot to where they think the brake should be, but the pedals are slightly different sizes/spaced in an auto and they hit the gas pedal hard, maybe panic and hit it harder still and an auto the way its torqued up launches at a rate of knots forward

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

Postby Airsporter1st » 24 Jan 2019, 11:03pm

awavey wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:An incompetent young or old driver might engage gear in automatic, the vehicle the then moves
In a manual they might stall the engine :?


and its not the left foot, its the right foot that does it, unless you are a racing driver very few people actually left foot brake and in a manual youd have to hop off the brakes to clutch to stop stalling, its simpler to brake right footed as it stops you also trying to accelerate at the same time, but they put an auto in gear it picks up lurches forward or starts creeping, they stamp down with their right foot to where they think the brake should be, but the pedals are slightly different sizes/spaced in an auto and they hit the gas pedal hard, maybe panic and hit it harder still and an auto the way its torqued up launches at a rate of knots forward


As I've already said, an auto cannot be put into gear without having your (right) foot on the brake/actively releasing a detent. Once in gear, it takes a conscious motion to release the brake and even then the car will only creep, if anything at all (depending on whether it is real auto or an electronically operated manual). It then takes a further conscious effort to move your right foot onto the accelerator and depress it. The brake pedal on an auto is generally much larger than on a manual, so actually less risk of missing it in 'panic'.

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

Postby Tangled Metal » 24 Jan 2019, 11:31pm

thirdcrank wrote:
... They told him he had to pack it in ...


Obviously, this could have been worse, but wasn't.

It seems to support my feeling that if the individual driver is reluctant to quit, then family and friends often prevail. The problem is not so frequent as it's portrayed.

I don't know about that. In our family nobody got my great uncle to stop driving. My great aunt didn't stop him despite it being obvious he was unfit. She didn't want to take their mobility away being out in the country.

Not well off and real country types with over 2 mile walk cross country to the nearest bus probably even further. At late 70s they couldn't afford to sell up and move to a better location.

A desperate situation I reckon (I was only a kid so not got all the story). Anyway my gran used to talk to her sister about stopping him driving. I overheard such a conversation over the phone once. He hit a brick wall at speed and was never the same again. Could have been a kid.

I personally feel there's a reluctance to deal with the failing health of older members of families. Dementia, physical aging and failure to accept what is happening to them. Whether it's helping them to stop driving or to come to terms with health issues like the onset of dementia. It's a difficult conversation to have.

IMHO there could be some way of helping with this for the driving issue at least. Medical evaluations, medical reporting of concerns by GPs or something. Take the dilemma away from families.

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

Postby rmurphy195 » 25 Jan 2019, 1:59am

Tangled Metal wrote:Since this thread came about following the incident with the Duke it should be noted that he gave up his pilot's licence several years ago. Why?



Flying and its demands is very different to driving, and the medical required is very stringent, including hearing.

One of the key things is stopping - you can't! You not only have to judge "stopping" distance in one dimension, but landing configuration in 3, while at the same time catering for and reacting to unseen influences - wind, turbulence and so forth which simply do not (except under very exceptional circumstances) affect a road vehicle. And look out for issues which may cause you to abort the landing.

You have to experience landing an aircraft in gusty crosswinds, it can be quite a challenge!
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""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

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

Postby thirdcrank » 25 Jan 2019, 8:06am

Tangled Metal wrote: ... I don't know about that. ....


That's pretty much what I'm saying: there's little evidence about the extent of this but individual cases receive a disproportionate amount of attention. There's sometimes a tendency to generalise from personal experience. Procedures for taking drivers off the road are largely based on the criminal law which isn't ideal.

Re pilots' licences, I know nothing about them but I suspect it's necessary actively to maintain the requirements eg a certain number of flying hours each year and if you don't do that, you are "giving up" your licence. Perhaps there's somebody with that sort of knowledge.

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

Postby Tangled Metal » 25 Jan 2019, 8:19am

I know flying is more demanding on your reactions, concentration, etc but flying and driving can both easily take life due to errors no matter how those errors come about.

Is there not any part of the procedures about flying that could apply to drivers? Just thinking out loud because I doubt you'd accept self certification on fitness to fly from your pilot but you do with your driver every time you get a lift.

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

Postby Tangled Metal » 25 Jan 2019, 8:21am

rmurphy195 wrote:
Tangled Metal wrote:Since this thread came about following the incident with the Duke it should be noted that he gave up his pilot's licence several years ago. Why?



Flying and its demands is very different to driving, and the medical required is very stringent, including hearing.

One of the key things is stopping - you can't! You not only have to judge "stopping" distance in one dimension, but landing configuration in 3, while at the same time catering for and reacting to unseen influences - wind, turbulence and so forth which simply do not (except under very exceptional circumstances) affect a road vehicle. And look out for issues which may cause you to abort the landing.

You have to experience landing an aircraft in gusty crosswinds, it can be quite a challenge!

I have no intention of doing that. I know and accept my limitations. I got the inkling I'm never going to be a pilot as a kid crashing most of my landings in the game ATF on the spectrum! :wink: :D

I did get told at 17 that I was a good, natural driver with good instincts by the possibly ex police driving instructor volunteering at the driving course I went on. So perhaps driving is totally different (or I should try flying). Scary thought that last bit.

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

Postby thirdcrank » 25 Jan 2019, 10:00am

As a society, we accept self-certification of drivers of all ages. To drive most types of vehicle legally, you need to pass a fairly simple test. It's become more sophisticated than it was when I passed two (car then motorbike) in the 1960's. I've no idea if the eyesight test has become more stringent but all that was necessary then was to be able to read a number plate on a vehicle which the examiner judged to be more than 25 yards away on the road outside the test centre. Once the test has been passed, it's assumed that driving improves with experience. The driving licence is essentially an administrative record. Pre-DVLC (as it was originally) driving licences were issued locally and were renewable every three years. With the creation of the dreaded Swansea - once a byword for incompetence - the three-yearly renewal was scrapped except for drivers over 70. Anybody with a paper licence who had no changes of circumstance - usually change of address or licence endorsement - retained it to age 70. In my case, having passed my motorcycle test on a BSA Bantam in 1969, I was still licensed for all motorcycles till the eve of my 70th birthday, even though I'd not ridden one since 1972.

The conversion to a photo licence at age 70 is a faff, especially if you haven't a biometric passport, but there are no tests or reports: it's an administrative procedure.

As I've already posted, reliance on the criminal law is inadequate, especially at a time when when enforcement of road traffic legislation has collapsed, except for cameras. The need for proof to the criminal standard obviously reduces the onus on the driver to demonstrate their fitness to drive and with an older suspect, there will be a tendency to look for alternatives to prosecution, which may not exist.