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

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

Postby ThePinkOne » 25 Jan 2019, 10:32am

atoz wrote:When people live in areas that have no, or minimal public transport they are making a choice. Many of these areas are quite expensive to live in. You have to drive everywhere. There are very little local shops, and those that exist are overpriced. So people drive to out of town shopping. A relative of mine lives in such an area. He can afford to do this as he is a builder, and therefore can buy a shell and turn it into a habitable home. Many people in his village are rather better off. Some of them have long distance commutes to London. As with many villages, many of the original locals are long gone, as it's too expensive to buy a house there.

But to live in such areas and run a car you have to have the income to do it. I don't drive, but even if I did I simply couldn't afford to live in those areas on my income. And the car concerned needs to be a decent vehicle coping with a lot of rural miles, not just hops round town- more money.

I have some sympathy, but that is tempered by the fact that when people get over a certain age their reactions slow considerably, and that can make the difference between life and death for the cyclist or other road user they may collide with. I know the argument is that experience behind the wheel makes this less of an issue than it might be. I am not convinced. I know that my reaction times as a cyclist these days have to be good in modern traffic. The problem is much worse as a motorist. I hope I don't have to live on the difference (and realistically that will have already happened).

if you can afford to live in these sorts of rural areas, you can afford to move to more urban locations. That's the choice you have to make, if you take a responsible attitude to driving.

As far as public transport is concerned, we know the politics of this. The answer lies in the ballot box.



As a child I grew up in a rural location. We had local shops, decent pub and a bus service in the villlage plus a primary schoool and a secondary school (with a sixth form in those days) about 5 miles away.

Then the rich people in towns 50 or more miles away realised houses there were (for them) cheap and bought them as second homes- and no it wasn't locals selling out. Many of the village houses were rented from the local estate which then sold them on for loads of £££££ when eldely tenants moved out or the tenancy was otherwise up for renewal- the youngsters could not afford to buy or rent on local wages. (We used to joke in school that you could always tell a weekend place as it had new double glazing and central heating- luxuries which many locals couldn't afford and the landlords didn't provide).

The other big problem was global warming- until the winters started getting warm in the mid-1980's, the prospect of weeks of deep snow preventing access had kept the weekenders away, many who did try it only lasted one season then sold up. So house prices tended to stay low and houses sold locally or remained as tenancies. But once there was access all year around, once house prices in towns went up, once southerners could sell up in London and move north and buy a nice townhouse plus a country place for the odd weekend, the whole profile changed.

As all the youngsters (me included) moved away because we couldn't afford to live there, over 10 years the %age of houses owned by weekenders increased to over 80% of the villlage. The few houses owned by families will eventually end up the same way, and as farm tenants age their land is often amalgamated into larger tenancies and the farmhouse sold.

Those elderly few-% of locals left are stuck, the shops have long gone as the weekenders only come a few weekends a year and leave the place empty (or maybe lease a few days in summer to tourists) but the tourists/weekenders all arrive with a boot-load of shopping from the town supemarket.

Rather than forcing these non-rich people to leave their homes and move into a smaller and less nice property in a town because of being unable to drive, maybe you should target those people who use cars to visit their weekend place. If locals lived there, then public transport and local services (shops etc) become viable again. You don't need "original locals" just locals- families who want to put down roots in the area.

On a wide scale, there's far more houses in the UK than there are people needing homes, so there's obviously a big issue underlying this. A policy which forced the idea that (a) houses are homes (b) "second homes" are an immoral luxury and (c) a private individual owning any more than two properties is unacceptable antisocial greed would make a big difference- and a knock-on of this difference I believe would be that communities which are currently "unviable" for services such as shops, public transport etc would in many cases become viable again. If people have shops, pub and a place to meet up within 5 mins walk, even frail people could get about without a car (electric mobility scooters), and if elderly people have neighbours who live nearby (live- not stay overnight and commute every day) chances are they willl get any assistance they need.

Maybe if you're a responsible rich person, you don't buy a second home in the village, or don't live there and commute out to work in your car every day?

TPO

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

Postby Mick F » 25 Jan 2019, 9:53pm

Was cleaning out the parrot cage this afternoon.

We don't buy newspapers, but are given them. We have a stack of old ones in standby for the parrot.

Just seen this nugget from the Daily Mirror from March last year.
(note the parrot poo top right)
IMG_0073.jpg
Mick F. Cornwall

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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 » 26 Jan 2019, 12:03am

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!

Driving is a doddle compared to flying, driving for most motons including HRH with all the tech modern vehicles have uses little more brain cells than amoebas :roll:

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

Postby brynpoeth » 26 Jan 2019, 9:07am

I am middle-aged, this discussion has helped me decide I should like to give up driving, for several reasons

The most important reason is danger, I drive within the law and then some, for example I wait behind cyclists when a normal driver might try to overtake, could annoy the normals
Even if one is very very careful something could happen at any time, for example keeping inside the maximum speed limit 'provokes' normal drivers to overtake

Best to give up driving if possible, but then the % of drivers obeying the law is even lower, -1

Other reasons too: cost, energy, trouble, time

Hope to give up when I retire, latest
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Flinders
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby Flinders » 26 Jan 2019, 4:19pm

brynpoeth wrote:Caught exceeding the maximum speed limit, twice? :?
I am proud to report that I was stopped for 'speed', once in 31 years, Constable Sargent noticed that I was driving slowly, followed me home, he wondered if I had been drinking
Of course not!

Have driven automatics but mostly manual
I think automatic should be the norm, most drivers do not use the gears correctly, abuse the clutch &c, surely automatics could be set to use less fuel than manuals, to be smarter than the average driver :wink:

To be fair, it could be the OP missed the signs. Some round here are overgrown much of the year.

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

Postby Flinders » 26 Jan 2019, 4:24pm

thirdcrank wrote:
Flinders wrote:.... Maybe Thirdcrank can put us straight on this one?


I've only just seen this but I've already covered it (I think) in a post at 0840 today above.

Sorry, must have missed that.

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

Postby thirdcrank » 26 Jan 2019, 4:48pm

Flinders wrote: ... To be fair, it could be the OP missed the signs. Some round here are overgrown much of the year.


Overgrown STOP and GIVE WAY signs are one of my many hobbyhorses, as regular readers may have noticed. OTOH, this junction is on HRH's doorstep and AIUI, it seems he stopped then set off. So, if a sign isn't visible, the 'fail to conform' offence may have a defence, but not an excuse in a case like this.

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

Postby brynpoeth » 26 Jan 2019, 6:00pm

At a stop sign there is an unbroken line across the road, at a give way sign a broken line, right? Easy to see
Besides, the Duke is local and doubtless knows where the signs are
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Cunobelin
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby Cunobelin » 26 Jan 2019, 6:49pm

The utility cyclist wrote:
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!

Driving is a doddle compared to flying, driving for most motons including HRH with all the tech modern vehicles have uses little more brain cells than amoebas :roll:



There was a thread a few months ago where several members were extolling the virtues of automatic braking, and the benefits of relying on the car to maintain distances between vehicles etc.

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

Postby Ron » 26 Jan 2019, 7:08pm

mattsccm wrote:Any rural dweller will tell you that a car is essential.

A popular argument, but for many present rural dwellers, if they had not had a car in the first place, or been unable to drive for any reason they would never have moved to a rural location.

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

Postby Cunobelin » 26 Jan 2019, 7:43pm

Ron wrote:
mattsccm wrote:Any rural dweller will tell you that a car is essential.

A popular argument, but for many present rural dwellers, if they had not had a car in the first place, or been unable to drive for any reason they would never have moved to a rural location.


The opposite is actually the real problem.

Many rural communities are having problems because people are being either forced or choose to move away.

These are not people who have moved there, rather those who have been there for all there lives, and often second or third generation.

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

Postby Vorpal » 28 Jan 2019, 10:02am

Other than that some deterioration can be expected with aging, 'time to hand over the cars keys' has nothing to do with age, and everything to do with competence and capability.

Everyone is affected by aging differently, and where one person might no longer be able to drive safely at 75, another might be able to drive competently well into their 90s.

I would honestly prefer that everyone be submitted to periodic retest, and that eyesight be included. A certificate from a qualified optician / optometrist / opthamologist, or a basic eye test, like they do in some US states should be required every 5 years.

Maybe those who have never accumulated points nor been involved in a crash could go 10 years between retests until they are 70 or 75.

Cross sectional statistical analysis of drivers, incidents, etc. could also be used to determine the most effective time for either an eye sight examination, or driving retest.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 28 Jan 2019, 1:05pm

Having a 'no insurance claim leads to less frequent testing' sounds good, but I suspect would increase hit and run...

I see no reason not to have regular retests, an opticians certificate each year and a full test every 5 (theory, hazard perception and practical) would at least encourage people to stay up to date with legislation and required skills.
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Re: Elderly drivers: when is it time to hand over the car keys?

Postby Tangled Metal » 28 Jan 2019, 1:24pm

What if there's a deterioration in the long time gaps between retest for those without previous fault? IMHO one rule for all because at the end of the day it's about picking up on a deterioration of driving standards / abilities / fitness not about prosecutions or claims.

Example one. One of my family members had an accident where a car came flying out of a petrol station straight across the road and hit my relative's car in the side. It was trying to go down a road that T'ed into the main road at that point and my relative was driving down that main road. It had clear sightlines and had no significant history of accidents. Simple case to assign fault but the insurance companies went "knock for knock".

Example two. Parked car gets hit by truck. No corroborating witness and truck drove off without being identified. Car owner claims against their insurance.

Two examples I know about but and insurance based claim would make both safe drivers who had no previous history of accidents or claims or prosecutions have a higher frequency of testing than someone who could be dangerous just lucky enough not to be caught.

Then you have example the. This was another relative without any fault or prosecutions or claims against him. He deteriorated in driving fitness quicker than ten years, probably within 5 years. 5 years would have caught it before it became dangerous, ten years would not.

If you're going to have a strong system of retesting then have the same one for all.

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

Postby thirdcrank » 28 Jan 2019, 2:38pm

On a personal note, I've just had the result of my annual diabetic retinopathy test and it's OK (couched in circumlocution in case they've cocked up.) I saw my optician (no humour intended) in November and the test they do was OK too. In fact, I can do the numberplate test without my specs but it would never occur to me to drive without them on: I put them on when I get up and take them off at bedtime, otherwise only briefly removing them for a shower or the occasional haircut. (On the self-testing theme, I still cannot see round corners.)

Why are people so convinced that the majority of people who have tried to behave responsibly all their lives, suddenly become the opposite? I'm not saying that doesn't happen, but examples seem to attract a disproportionate level of publicity. There's a recent one here
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-47013783