They keep happening, new laws discriminating against mature drivers. Many state legislatures now require senior vision and/or road testing every year. Some totally ban drivers’ licences at age 75. Is it really necessary?
Hell, no! I’m nearly 90 and still drive. Of course, I’m not as sharp as I was 70 years ago, but I’m still safe and sober. I’d much rather share the road with drivers in their 90s than any drunk-as-a-skunk, pot-addled, texting teenager.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seniors age 65 to 69 have 33 accidents for every 1,000 licensed drivers. Those 70 and over have an accident rate of 30 for every 1,000. The national average for all drivers is 58 accidents per 1,000. For teens, it’s close to 100.
I know about dangerous teen drivers, because I was once one of them. There were many, many moments when I was lucky I didn’t kill myself or anyone else by my stupid booze-impaired and let’s-race zooming. I still have sad memories of three teenage Navy shipmates who died in a 1945 San Francisco car crash. It happened just weeks after they had returned from World War II sea duty.
No matter how anyone tries to legislate restrictions, it’s totally unfair discrimination to set some kind of arbitrary age limit where seniors are automatically told to get the hell off the road. Just as there are competent teens who obey all the laws, the great majority of senior drivers are just as safe.
Footnote: I’ve an idea for severe testing of seniors when they reapply. Require them to endure one day of the typical state license bureau hassles, incompetence and delays in the crowded waiting rooms. Anyone who can survive those endless, frustrating hours without causing serious damage really deserves license renewal.