Elderly Drivers – How Old is Too Old To Drive?
When it comes to getting older in life, sometimes you just cannot do what you once did at a younger age. I know that this is a touchy subject for a lot of people, but how old is too old to drive? How do you determine when it is time to hand over the keys or asked your loved one to turn over their keys.
I understand that driving is seen as a freedom for a lot of elderly people, but sometimes safety has to trump freedom.
I was driving down Bell Street over the weekend and I ended up behind a car going 25 mph. The speed limit on that part of Bell Street is 40 mph. At the time I couldn't switch lanes because a line of frustrated people behind me were already one step ahead and switching lanes to pass. Then it happened this car, going 25 mph, swerved into the other lane and almost hit the vehicle next to it. Luckily, the other driver was able to move into the turning lane to avoid being hit.
Finally, when I was able to pass, I realized that the person in this car was a little old lady who could barely see over the dash, and had a death grip on the steering wheel. She wasn't phased and I don't think she realized that she nearly hit another car.
This isn't the first time I have ran into this situation. A lot of elderly drive up and down Bell Street and as the city grows so does the traffic. It is getting more dangerous and add bad driving to the mix, it is a wreck waiting to happen.
Both of my grandmothers surrendered their keys on their own when they felt like they shouldn't be driving anymore, but I know there are a lot of elderly adults refuse to give up that freedom.
We used to have the sweetest lady who worked here in our building. We loved her very much, but she was up there in age and every time she left the parking lot we literally thought she was going to end up in a wreck and die. There were times when she asked us to go on a sales call with her and we were always, "let us drive." She refused, and we all would take our own cars because we knew that at any moment she was going to get in a wreck. Unfortunately, all her living relatives lived out of town and none of them wanted to make the decision to take the keys.
According to DMV.com:
Texas drivers who are 79 years of age or older at the time their current driver license expires are generally required to renew their license in person at a local DOT office. Drivers over 85 years of age can only renew it for a 2-year period. Texas also allows you to renew the license online. In addition to taking a vision test (see below), you may in certain situations be asked to take a written knowledge test as well. In preparation for this, you can review the Texas Drivers Handbook and take practice tests before going for your license renewal. For license-related queries, you can send email to TexasOnline Help (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (877) 452-9060.
So when does it become a danger to the person driving, to the people that drive on the streets with them? When do you decide to step in and make that call for your parents or grandparents?