Good Advice for Older Drivers

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Adam's Apple, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple
    Offline

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    4,092
    Thanks Received:
    445
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +447
    I never read articles like this but I think of my grandpa. When he was 79, he entered his garage by the side door, got into his car, and backed out without first making sure the garage door was open. He also seemed to have trouble distinguishing the street from the sidewalk because he sometimes got his car on the sidewalk instead of on the street. His children recognized the danger he had become and took the car keys away for him - for good.

    For Aging Drivers, the Signs Sometimes Say 'Stop'
    By Jane E. Brody, The New York Times
    December 6, 2005

    Self-awareness is the key to driving safely in your later years. Note whether you feel overwhelmed by having to pay attention to signs, signals, road markings, pedestrians and other vehicles at intersections, or by having to drive at high speeds or in heavy traffic. Are you slow to notice cars coming out of driveways or side streets or when the vehicle in front of you slows down or stops suddenly?

    Avoid distractions while driving, like eating, talking on the phone, listening to recorded books, engaging in emotionally draining discussions and disciplining children or pets. Stop in a safe place to take care of disturbances in your vehicle.

    Adjust your driving by taking familiar routes, avoiding rush hours and night driving, keeping a safe distance (one car length for every 10 miles of speed) between you and the vehicle ahead, having a passenger serve as a second pair of eyes, making left turns where there are green-arrow signals (or making three right turns to go left) and looking as far down the road as possible to anticipate problems.

    When driving in unfamiliar territory, use a map to plan your route in advance and write out the itinerary. Don't try to read a map while driving; pull off the road to refresh your memory or make route changes.

    Make adjustments, too, in your vehicle. If you have physical limitations, choose a car with automatic transmission, power steering and power brakes. You may also benefit from a back or seat cushion or changes to the pedals. Your line of vision should be three or more inches above the steering wheel and you should not have to use your toes to operate the pedals.

    Reduce or eliminate the driver's blind spot by adjusting your outside mirrors: Lean your head against the driver's side window and adjust the left mirror so that you can barely see the side of your car, then lean toward the middle of the vehicle and adjust the right mirror the same way.

    Have your vision checked annually, including checks for glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration. Avoid glasses with arms that block peripheral vision, never wear sunglasses in low light, and do not use yellow glare-reducing lenses at night (they act like sunglasses). Always drive with a clean windshield, mirrors and headlights. Do not look at the blinding headlights of approaching vehicles; instead, glance toward the edge of the right side of the road.

    When driving long distances, take frequent breaks - at least once every 100 miles or every two hours - to stretch, walk around and perhaps have a snack. Avoid driving after a big meal, when you feel sleepy or during hours when you are normally in bed.

    Though you may deplore cellphone abuse, consider getting one for safety's sake. But use it only in emergencies and when you are not driving.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The above is from a paid subscription site and is the first of a two-part article by Jane Brody. As it is quite lengthy, I have only included that portion of the article where advice is given to elderly drivers. If you subscribe to the NYT online, it is well worth reading.
     
  2. dilloduck
    Offline

    dilloduck Diamond Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    53,240
    Thanks Received:
    5,552
    Trophy Points:
    1,850
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Ratings:
    +6,403
    My 78 year old mother is beginning to realize her driving limitations and is particularly concerned about making left hand turns. I think she can get any where in Colorado Springs now by making only right hand turns. Good idea but you better not let her give you directions !
     
  3. dmp
    Offline

    dmp Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    13,088
    Thanks Received:
    741
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Enterprise, Alabama
    Ratings:
    +741
    If I had the ability to revoke driving privileges on the spot I bet traffic congestion would go down 50%. MOST people aren't good drivers, no matter what their traffic accident/speeding ticket record shows.
     
  4. Mr. P
    Offline

    Mr. P Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Messages:
    11,329
    Thanks Received:
    618
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    South of the Mason Dixon
    Ratings:
    +620
    I think this is all good advice for every driver, regardless of age.
     
  5. fuzzykitten99
    Offline

    fuzzykitten99 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,965
    Thanks Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    You'll have to check the Marauder's Map...
    Ratings:
    +199
    I think that since driving is a priviledge, not a right, there should be a mandatory road test completed by a physical & mental exam by an independent doctor, in order for older people to keep their licenses. Now the problem is, what age do we start this? I would want to say, at whatever age most ailments start to set in, but since it is different for every person, that probably won't work. Maybe a standard age of 60? If the person has a history of a condition say, heart problems, or something that might cause them to lose consciousness at any given moment, then they have to have the dr. write them off saying they maintain their condition exceptionally well, either by meds or other means, and because of that, they are at less of a risk for complications.

    I have seen TOO MANY news reports of diabetics going into shock while driving, and they either end up dead, or kill someone else. I am not saying they shouldn't drive, but they are a greater risk than healthy drivers.

    Just this morning, there was a report of a 65yo guy who was diabetic, who got on 35W, going the wrong way (northbound in the southbound lane), and he went into diabetic shock, and the car he hit, had a mom and a 10yo boy in it. They both died, but the guy lived. He not only did not have a mental capacity to be on the correct side of the freeway, his health condition caused 2 deaths.

    I have seen too many older people driving 50mph in a 70 zone (in good dry conditions mind you), in the fast lane. They are more likely to get in an accident or cause one than someone actually doing 70-75. Why on earth do these people think they need to go that slow? If they don't want to drive at least the speed limit on the freeways, and at least be in the right lane, then take the side roads and leave the freeway to people who actually use it like you're supposed to.
     
  6. sitarro
    Offline

    sitarro Gold Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Messages:
    5,186
    Thanks Received:
    999
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Location:
    USA
    Ratings:
    +1,001
    Driving...we have turned it into everything but getting from one place to the other.

    People with the money to buy vehicles that shouldn't even be allowed off of a racetrack have always been a traffic risk, twerps that think they can handle a car that is way above their ability to control are a bigger problem than older people driving too slow. I saw a difference in the risk idiots were taking immediately after "The Fast and The Furious" came out. How many asswipes have I witnessed doing 100+ in the right lane? The mistakes older people make are negligible compared to the young who now watch DVDs, gab on the phone, play with their friends, eat and fool with their hair while driving vehicles that they aren't qualified to drive down the block. Even worse are those that have messed with their suspensions to get a silly look or drive mechanical shit and still think they can drive like the racers they see on the track or in movies.

    Cars that can reach 60 miles an hour in 4 seconds? 6 seconds? Do we really need that kind of acceleration being attempted by kids with poor self esteem and small dicks? How about the middle aged rich boy trying to get some respect by buying a car that he shouldn't be allowed to sit in. At least the dufusses that drive rice rocket motorcycles are mainly just killing themselves, kind of thinning the herd of dumbasses.

    The risk of anyone, no matter the ability or training, of going 90 + miles an hour on any highway is huge. . . multiply that by 1000 for inexperienced clowns that think they can buy skill and ability.

    The problems associated with the rediculously large, poor handling, heavy weight disasters known as SUVs are even worse. I grew up in a family of 8, we had an Oldsmobile stationwagon that fit all off us as we would trek across the U.S. to Grandma's house every summer. It was a boat and yet it would be dwarfed by the rolling living rooms the insecure feel they have to pilot around town. High center of gravity, large powerful engines, giant tall sidewall tires and a feeling like you are sitting in your easy chair watching a "driving" movie while talking on a phone spells a disaster waiting to happen. these bohemiths are not safer, they can't maneuver well enough to avoid the typical crap that happens constantly on the road. Add the phone, TV, eating and multiple other distractions that are available and you are a wreck waiting to happen. Then of course is the outragious waste of natural resources needed to power the single soccer mom on her trek to HEB in this rolling box that could sleep 100 vietnamese.

    Of course you have the right to be an ass in America and waste resources, it's the American way. We are a country that is increasingly populated with possers that feel that whatever inadequacies we feel will disappear if we drive the right type of vehicle. We have always had this identity problem, it has just become much worse with all of the new distractions that didn't even exist a few decades ago. It has really become pathetic to watch.

    Come on Darrin and Clay, I know you guys are going to jump on me for these views but we all know they are true. I'm looking at it from a perspective of having been there a long time ago and having survived taking stupid chances in equally silly cars, it is much worse now than when I drove a sports car. The streets aren't the controlled environment of a racetrack and the other drivers around you probably aren't paying attention, it is insane to drive fast and that is the truth.
     
  7. archangel
    Online

    archangel Guest

    Ratings:
    +0

    I agree....! :thup:
     
  8. dmp
    Offline

    dmp Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    13,088
    Thanks Received:
    741
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Enterprise, Alabama
    Ratings:
    +741
    No arguments there - however, I'd say 75% of current drivers shouldn't be allowed on the streets. Drivers should be required to pay for, and attend, AND graduate something akin to Skip Barber. Also, Drivers should have to do at least ONE track day/Driver Ed day every 2 years to keep their license. I'm unsure what 'silly looking suspensions' have to do with drivers not paying attention to what they are doing. Lost me on that one.

    I wish my car could reach 60 mph in 4 seconds. You raised a question though...'do we need'. Of course not...unless you're being chased by a group of thugs in a car that takes FIVE seconds to reach 60mph. ;)

    That's not exactly true. Going 90mph on an empty freeway at noon is completely safe, assuming the car is in good shape. Trying to go 90, or even 40mph in some circumstances on a crowded freeway can be deadly,however.

    SUVs aren't the problem. I'm for freedom. Everyone should drive what they can afford to drive. That said, see my comments re: driver education days? ;) My wife's F150 can take 50mph on-ramps at 75mph sometimes...wide sticky tires help...so does my m@d Sk|llz behind the wheel.

    Very off-topic - but I appreciate your energy in that paragraph! :)

    You must be an 'old guy'. :)

    When was the last time a kid mistakenly stepped on the gas instead of the brake pedal? ;)
     
  9. dmp
    Offline

    dmp Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    13,088
    Thanks Received:
    741
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Enterprise, Alabama
    Ratings:
    +741
    Oh yeah - for good measure:

    [​IMG]

    :D
     
  10. The ClayTaurus
    Offline

    The ClayTaurus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    7,062
    Thanks Received:
    332
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +333
    Are you callin' my car silly? :bat:
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1

Share This Page