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Should Elderly People be allowed to drive?

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Kelsey Fenton

on 17 December 2014

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Transcript of Should Elderly People be allowed to drive?

There is a huge debate on this topic, whether or not elderly people should be allowed to drive. Most people say they shouldn't be allowed to but there are also some people who say that they should. Who decides this? How can we make everyone happy in this situation?
Reasons why they should drive:
Elderly people are experienced drivers and in most cases it is their health that gets in the way of their ability to drive. Some elders don't have people to drive them around so then they are stuck at home. It would put them in a hard place if they couldn't drive to get around anymore. It also gives them a sense of independence and keeps them active to be able to drive. They need help with a lot of things and driving is one thing that they can do on their own.
What should be done about this?
There is a solution to elderly people being on the road and deciding if they should be. There should be a law that states that elderly people should take another road test when they hit a certain age, age 70. This test will confirm if they should be driving or not. Also they should go for a physical checkup every year, if not more often, to make sure that they are in good health and are capable to drive. If the doctors don't think that they are capable of driving due to their health then they should be able to take the keys away from them to ensure their safety.
SGI Rules
It is determined that if your medical conditions is affecting your driving then you will have some restrictions such as driving during daylight hours and driving within a certain geographic area. SGI also says that age is not the sole indicator of driving ability. You can't lose your license due to age and driving is a privilege, not a right. Your safety and others safety is SGI's first concern. There are many resources available to help elderly people drive for as long as possible.
Reasons why they shouldn't drive:
Elderly people are more likely to get into a car crash and can be dangerous on the road. Drivers over the age of 75 have a higher risk per distance traveled of being killed in a car crash than any other age group. They are fragile and more likely to become injured or even killed. Not all but most elderly people drive under the speed limit which can be as dangerous as going over it. As you are going through the aging process your body and mind functions change, you have a slower reaction time, your eyesight gets worse, they have trouble hearing and you can have many other health related problems.
Should Elderly People be allowed to drive?
Signs that elderly drivers should not be driving anymore
They are on medications that could impair reflexes or senses.
They are having eyesight problems
They are losing their memory
They are losing their driving reflexes
If they are having many close calls on the road and just about getting into accidents
confusion while driving somewhere
Thinking the speed limit is too high
The resources available include:
Mature Drivers Refresher Course. Either in Regina through the Saskatchewan Safety Council or Saskatoon through the Saskatchewan and District Safety Council.
Driver assessment program in Regina
Driver Evaluation Program in Saskatoon
CANdrive website
GrandDriver program
Even though there are resources for elderly people to look into and courses that they can take, there is no law saying that they have to. Physicians, family members, or even you can refer yourself to those programs. Many times family members or yourself may not want to do that because they know how much it means for their elders to drive. Also elderly people may not always be going to the doctors to get a physical. This is why there should be a lay stating that once elderly people reach 70 yearrs old they should retake road tests to refresh them on driving skills and rules and they should go get a physical every year, if not more often. That way it is safe for them and everyone else to be on the road.
By: Kelsey Fenton
Full transcript