Elderly drivers are far safer than most
It seems that whenever an elderly driver makes a mistake on the road, there are a lot of writers to this column demanding that drivers over a certain age be tested. As an elderly driver myself, this would be funny if it wasn’t so misguided.
Here’s what I mean. Recently, my wife and I were out for about three hours driving from store to store. We were on various roads and in many parking lots. In that short span of time, I was dangerously cut off by several drivers who didn’t bother to use their blinkers. Another driver sped up to a busy intersection as the light was changing and proceeded to race through a red light. I was tailgated several times by drivers who had nowhere to go because there was a line of cars in front of me.
I saw many drivers race through parking lots with no regard for pedestrians trying to walk to their cars. I saw a speeding car driven by a young man looking down at his lap. Presumably he was texting. When he finally looked up, he had to slam on the brakes before he crashed into a line of cars stopped at a signal. I saw a driver speed through a stop sign in a plaza and do a U-turn in order to beat another driver to a handicapped spot. I saw many drivers going too fast considering the snowy road conditions. I saw several people on their cellphones.
How many of these people were driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs? Interestingly, none of the dangerous drivers I witnessed was elderly. It’s not the slower drivers who will kill you; it’s the drivers who speed, who are distracted, who are under the influence, who race through red lights, who cut you off and who generally drive as if you are in their way.
The great majority of elderly drivers drive safely. Instead of throwing money at the DMV so it can test older drivers, I say put the money into law enforcement so we can get these dangerous drivers off the road.