"Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" - wrong argument?

rmurphy195
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"Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" - wrong argument?

Postby rmurphy195 » 14 Feb 2019, 11:32pm

"Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" IMO this statement is the wrong way around.

For "Modern Traffic" read ""Driver Behaviour" - but I'll use the "Modern Traffic" label ...

"Modern Traffic", in fact, can't cope with/doesn't allow for elderly drivers - nor can it cope with
Cyclists (as we all know!)
Walkers
Horse Riders
People riding/driving into/out of their own driveways
Children running along footpaths
Vehicles turning into/out of obscure junctions
Elderly/infirm people crossing roads
Other road users temporarily blinded by low sun/badly adjusted headlamps

You get the picture?
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gaz
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Re: "Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" - wrong argument?

Postby gaz » 15 Feb 2019, 8:35am

I can recall objecting to a "no right turn" order back in the 90's which was being promoted as the junction wasn't safe for this maneuver.

My objection focused on the fact that the junction was safe. The design had been unchanged for many years, it had been safe for many years. The things that had changed were traffic volumes and traffic speeds, so those were the things that weren't safe and needed fixing.

Of course this carefully constructed argument got me nowhere.

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Re: "Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" - wrong argument?

Postby Barks » 15 Feb 2019, 10:01am

Many drivers cope perfectly well with all these groups - the problem is that far too many drivers have no regard for the laws, guidance and conventions that apply to using cars on the roads or indeed other users of the road irrespective of their ‘group’ and this includes other car drivers who are operating within the laid down framework. This is not a new phenomenon it has been present forever but the volumes of traffic and a weak and ineffectual legal and enforcement system have led to the dire situation we have today. Either some way is found of controlling those with ‘Mr Toad’ attitudes or they have to be got off the road. Personally, I believe black boxes in every motorised vehicle would offer the quickest and most cost effective measure with rising insurance premiums for poor driving ‘style’ and automatic FPNs for all minor legal transgressions.

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Re: "Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" - wrong argument?

Postby Bonefishblues » 15 Feb 2019, 10:07am

I've said previously and still believe that autonomous vehicles will be the saviour.

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Re: "Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" - wrong argument?

Postby reohn2 » 15 Feb 2019, 10:11am

rmurphy195 wrote: ........You get the picture?

I certainly do.
The problem with 'modern traffic' is an attitude of entitlement by many drivers who expect to drive how they like and not how they should within the law.IMO it's brought about by fast lifestyles and a total lack of any traffic policing whatsoever.
It can be summed up in one phrase 'lack of respect' either for the law or other road users,particularly the vulnerable or any other 'lesser' as they see it,road user.
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Re: "Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" - wrong argument?

Postby kwackers » 15 Feb 2019, 10:12am

I would argue that a lot of modern junction design only works if you have prior knowledge of it before you arrive.

Loads of junctions near me where I see noobs struggle with whilst the locals and those familiar under and overtake, tooting as they go.
A lot of elderly drivers may well not be able to think on their feet fast enough in the middle of many lanes of traffic a lot of which isn't making any allowances at all.

The problem for most groups is that such junctions are designed to maximise traffic flow with little regard for safety or ease of use particularly for vulnerable users.

Bit like cycling really, if you're a very fit young male happy to assert yourself in traffic you probably wonder what all the fuss is about...

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Re: "Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" - wrong argument?

Postby pwa » 15 Feb 2019, 10:40am

Cardiff City Council sent me a nice letter a few days ago which basically pointed out (with photo evidence) that my 20 year old daughter had, in a car registered to me, briefly entered a bus lane on a complicated bit of road late at night in pouring rain, with road markings less obvious than in good conditions. £35 fine, paid by me, of course.

But the point is, she is very young and inexperienced, not an elderly person rendered incompetent by age. It was youth and newness to driving that momentarily allowed her to be confused by the many road signs on an unfamiliar road. As a family we respect bus lanes, so as soon as she detected her error she moved over to where she should have been. But that is the sort of minor error that youth and inexperience leads to. It isn't just the old who get a bit confused by complicated road layouts.

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Re: "Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" - wrong argument?

Postby mjr » 15 Feb 2019, 12:32pm

Bonefishblues wrote:I've said previously and still believe that autonomous vehicles will be the saviour.

Some elderly drivers struggle to operate a sat nav. I shudder to think what trouble they may have with autonomous vehicles - and if they try to reflash them to stop them being so timid, the results could be either horrific or (hopefully more likely) bricking the car.
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Re: "Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" - wrong argument?

Postby Bonefishblues » 15 Feb 2019, 12:44pm

mjr wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:I've said previously and still believe that autonomous vehicles will be the saviour.

Some elderly drivers struggle to operate a sat nav. I shudder to think what trouble they may have with autonomous vehicles - and if they try to reflash them to stop them being so timid, the results could be either horrific or (hopefully more likely) bricking the car.

I think that the human-machine interface has developed out of all recognition in the past 2-3 years, and I foresee that continuing. If the machine asked my ageing and increasingly decrepit Aunt where she wanted to go, based on where she's been previously and took her there, that would be a step forward for all concerned, because she's really not fit to drive herself any more. As it is, she's fitted with a co-pilot for every journey courtesy of her friends.

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al_yrpal
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Re: "Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" - wrong argument?

Postby al_yrpal » 15 Feb 2019, 1:57pm

Its true SOME elderly drivers wont be able to cope with Dense traffic, but those who cant will mostly be sensible enough to avoid dense traffic, busy motorways or driving at night. I dont understand the term modern traffic, my driving started in 1958 and on occasion the traffic back then could be just as challenging, not least because of primitive junction design and poor pedestrian handling? Many people I know have enough common sense to know when to pack it in, a near miss or minor incident often seems to do it.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: "Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" - wrong argument?

Postby The utility cyclist » 15 Feb 2019, 3:24pm

today's elderly drivers are from an era that killed and injured in massively greater numbers than now, isn't there an argument that in fact far too many of them were just rubbish drivers from the outset, couldn't/wouldn't drive to the conditions, were poorly trained and never got any better?
There were circa 8000 road deaths in 1966, the highest peacetime death toll, four and a half times what it is today, before that in 1950 there were just over 5000 deaths and 49,000 serious injuries, at time when there were still not many cars on the road and the haulage industry hadn't upped massively!

Is it not due in part down to modern technology, better and selected safety systems that keep some elderly drivers and motorists of all age groups from killing and maiming in the numbers we saw in the past?

I mentioned previously about the figures given a false impression as to the safety of older motorists and the dangers they present. Figures I see usually have the from x no of licence holders in y age bracket have z no. of incidents/deaths/serious injuries. The reality is that many older folk have licences but don't drive, or drive very few miles comparatively and/or drive at times that are far lighter/easier conditions (because they no longer work etc) so are exposed to risk far far less than their younger licence holding counterparts.

Whilst some (certainly not all) older motorists might drive a bit slower to compensate for their reactions/eyesight/other physical or mental impairments and this is no bad thing, does it compensate for the fact they have 50 year old habits (some not so good) and have never being told how they should deal with certain situations that may well have changed in terms of best practice, for instance how they should act around vulnerable road users.

It's not necessarily the wrong argument, but the 'older' driver has increased in numbers, it should be that we are addressing the issues that all drivers have at whatever stage they are in their lives that are particular to sex, age and overall capability.

Compulsory retraining across the board at drivers expense with compulsory eye tests every year or two, not expecting a 10-2 feeding wheel through the hands type stuff, just better observations, better forward planning, change of attitude to vulnerable road users and overall better risk management - that isk they present to others, hazard perception should be seen as what hazard do I present to others firstly and then to myself/occupants, not seeing other people/objects as the hazard in itself.

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al_yrpal
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Re: "Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" - wrong argument?

Postby al_yrpal » 15 Feb 2019, 4:36pm

TUC I quite agree, such a regime should apply to all drivers, especially to those in the known hazzard groupings ie teenagers and people in their early 20s. Most people who use glasses have biannual eye tests anyway. Keep death off the roads!

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Re: "Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" - wrong argument?

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Feb 2019, 6:02pm

It seems to me that the biggest shortfall of driver testing is that it has never really tackled the assessment of someone's psychological suitability to drive. Even after conviction for a road-rage incident, there's no real system for measuring the length of a driver's fuse. Apart from things like drink and drugs, a san fairy ann attitude to risk-taking must be a common causative factor in crashes.

Bearing in mind that we've had a least two threads recently on the subject of older drivers (I'm including HRH in rollover) I'm left wandering what's inspired another. :?

I passed my driving test in the mid 1960's and I'd agree that the driving test in those good old days was simpler than it is today. Much is made of the inevitable deterioration which comes with ageing, yet the eyesight requirements for all ages are minimal in terms of driving at any speed and they have never been tightened, nor subject to much monitoring for any age group.

I can see that I was part of the wild younger generation in the swinging 60's but I don't accept a sort of communal responsibility for all the bad driving of that era and earlier, not least because my contemporaries were by no means the only people on the road at that time.

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Re: "Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" - wrong argument?

Postby Barks » 15 Feb 2019, 8:11pm

If Today’s cars were stripped of all the bolt on safety features, ambulance crews were restricted 1960s techniques and equipment and we done away with air ambulances then we would see death rates back up to 70s levels without any doubt. There is no excuse for drivers to flaunt the law, we now have the technology to identify poor driving and law breaking real time in the same way that super brakes, air bags and seat belts technologies protect the occupants - I wonder why car makers don’t simply fit them as the next stage in safety features? Surely new car sales would zoom up with such an attractive feature!

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Re: "Elderly drivers can't cope with modern traffic" - wrong argument?

Postby ambodach » 15 Feb 2019, 8:47pm

Kwakers has it right. I hate modern interchanges unless I know exactly where I am from previous visits. With the speed and volume of traffic there is just not enough time to find the correct lane even with my satnav. I generally manage tho’ I have had the occasional wrong exit but I don’t think this is down to age as many much younger people I have spoken to have the same problem. My son who is relatively young has a satnav but if going somewhere strange looks at streetview before travelling to check out potential problem areas. He travels widely in the UK as well as Europe so is not inexperienced.