I’m 91, and survived more than 70 years of driving in bombed-out cities, choked highways, rain, sleet, snow, ice and desert sun. I’m well aware of age-related mental and physical limitations, so that’s why I recently made the smart decision to stop driving.
Of course, we old folks are a proud lot, reluctant to admit we’re not as sharp as we were way back when. However, I firmly believe everyone who makes it to age 70 should be tested at least once a year before getting a renewed driver’s license.
Of course, brain-challenged teens, drunks, druggies, road ragers, idiot street racers, sleep-deprived truckers, lipstick appliers and Smartphone gabbers cause at least 99% of auto accidents. Those chronic offenders should also be tested annually. If they fail, no licenses until they clean up their acts.
It’s not discrimination to require seniors to retest. In my own case, I’m thankful for the vision and brainpower I still have left, but for all of us, nature diminishes them day by day. I doubt I could pass a basic driver’s test now if it included scooting through busy city streets or crowded drive-time highways. I can only imagine the panic I’d cause to the nervous DMV tester next to me.
There was recent local news about a missing 87-year-old woman driver. Her physical description, photo and make of car were in the news and online. It was noted that she was suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s. Her car was found on a department store parking lot, but she’s still unaccounted for as of this date.
What part of this story makes any sense? Why the hell is she still driving at age 87? Why would any responsible family member allow a certifiably senile woman ever to operate a car? Along with my car keys, I rest my case.