OPINION: Old people should not be driving

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70-year-olds and up are the second most likely demographic to get into a car accident. Photo illustration by Caden Cooke / el Don

On the way to my lectures, some decrepit old man turned into me causing thousands of dollars worth of damage to my car. That’s when I realized old people probably shouldn’t be driving.

Whether it’s going 40 mph in the fast lane or trying to turn left from a middle lane, something needs to be done about the great terrors of the road…the elderly.

I will scream it at the top of my lungs, but I think the elderly should not be driving.

While some can handle themselves behind the wheel, a large majority of ancient drivers are dealing with the issues that come with aging. Things like reduced mobility and basic motor functions equate to clogging up the left lane on the I-5, door dinging in Vons parking lots, and sometimes, even causing an accident.

People constantly talk about age limits for government and voting and while those should also be a thing, driving is the most prevalent. When I see some old lady peeking over her steering wheel to see me going 15 under the speed limit my skin starts to crawl.

How could someone incompetent like that still be licensed? It hurts my brain. In my personal experience, the person who hit me was 80 years old and had no idea where he was when he got out of his car. Seeing that just made me so angry.

Let me calm down, and break down the statistics. According to AAA, 16 and 17-year-olds are most likely to be at fault for an accident. This can be attributed to inexperience as well as distracted driving. The second age demographic most likely to get into a car accident is 70-year-olds and up.

How can old people who can barely even process where they are in their day-to-day lives continue to operate three tons of steel and wire?

The DMV should require a test every couple of years that checks an elderly person’s driving ability. Doctors should also have a say.

Things like Uber or Rideshare for the elderly could be created, or they could just take the bus. The option to travel will still be there, and our roads will be a lot safer. I know that seniors need to get around. They need to go shopping and go to doctor’s appointments. I don’t think that there is a simple solution to this problem, but there are workarounds.

I yearn for the day that I don’t need to worry about an 80-year-old not realizing he isn’t turning from the middle lane. A day I can get in my car and know we will go at least the speed limit.

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8 Comments

  • Melinda Niekum

    Why are you singling out so-called”old people”for being dangerous drivers? Do you feel the same way about disabled people who are drivers? Certainly anyone whose medical condition impaired their ability to drive should not be doing so. But just because a person is in a certain age group is no reason to assume that they are dangerous drivers.

  • I’m 77 & drive a Corvette with 450 horsepower. You won’t see me driving under the speed limit. LOL

  • Stop blaming the elderly. Drivers like you are inconsiderate, entitled, selfish drivers who dismiss the law and inflict road rage when they can’t do what they want. Slow down, manage your time better, and stop blaming others for your deficiencies.

  • Idiots shouldn’t be behind keyboards…

  • Wait till you get that old you think you are just as good or a better driver lol it’s true I’ve seen it

  • I am 91 and try to drive thr speed limit. It makes no sense when a driver is trying to go 95 miles an hour and tale gating and lane hopping. I saw 4 tractor trailer and 4 cars go through a red light. Go after the young drivers.

  • One day you will be there, and someone else that is the age you are now will be saying the same thing about you. Beware what you wish for.

    And public transportation and Uber aren’t safe
    anymore or are you DISTRACTED by your music or
    phone so much your out of touch with reality? And
    public transportation often times does
    not get you close to where you need to be. Have a little
    respect and compassion aging isn’t for sissies,
    crawl out from under your cell phone and Tik Tok
    see what’s really happening in the world around you.
    You’ll be there singer than you think, and then again maybe not. Grow up, lose your self important entitled attitude. Sorry we obey the laws, you should try it sometime, might make your a better person, and give you an aside adjustment. And no I’m not an elderly person. Go after other age gross and people who have been given licenses and have difficulty understanding/ reading the prevalent language in this state. And my opinion? Shouldn’t be giving 16 year olds licenses either since they are the #1 group for causing accidents.

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