Old People Should NOT Be Driving

There need to be better actions put in place when it comes to elderly drivers.

A Canva graphic that shows an old person driving.

Photo Lindsey Chadwick

A Canva graphic that shows an old person driving.

Lindsey Chadwick, Opinion Editor

I will say this loud and clear. Old people should not be driving. Some elderly people might be better than others but, something needs to change. Whether they need to get tested and approved by a doctor every five years or get their brain function looked at, either way, something has to happen. Okay. Let me calm down a bit. I might be coming on a little strong but, that is only because I have been in an accident when an elderly person was at fault.

I am driving home one day, going straight through a green light, as one would, and I see some guy taking a “right on red.” As I am passing through the intersection, I see that this dude is not stopping for his so-called right on red. A definition of the term “right on red” from Press Republican says, “permitting vehicles at a red traffic light to turn right after a complete stop when the roadway is clear.” Just to be direct, he did not stop and he did not wait for the road to be clear. He went into his turn with barely any hesitation, and what do you know… there I am… Nose to nose with another car.

I pull over and get out of my car to see what the damage looked like. The weirdest thing about it was a 90-year-old man got out of the other car. I just about lost it. I thought to myself there was no way he could have seen me or even been able to judge how far away I was. I am not being mean. I am just trying to describe how old he really was. I was just stunned and filled with rage because there is no way he should have still been able to have his license. Thankfully, no one was hurt but, there have been times people have and that shouldn’t be the case.

You might be asking me, what age do I think is old; I think once one turns the age of 75, they should get retested for their driver’s license. They should get their eyes, ears, and take a different type of drivers test (one designed specifically for elderly people). Obviously, they should know how to stop at a stop sign and reverse, but it’s the judgment and depth perception that needs to be tested. Going to the doctors to get checked should be in this process as well. The goal is to reduce the number of accidents, injuries and ultimately for people to stay safe on the roads. Senior citizens aren’t the only ones causing accidents, but they are a small chunk that could be easily reduced.

An argument was brought up as I was writing this article. How would elderly people get around if they can’t drive? They have doctor’s appointments and things to do. Honestly, I don’t have a hard-core solution to that but, all I could say is take a bus or an Uber. Or maybe create a driving service like Uber but just for old people. Nowadays, there are plenty of other options and services that people can use to get around. It should be a priority to find a way to keep more people safe on the roads.