They Make Jokes About Senior Drivers – There Are Reasons Why!
The joke goes like this - A Police Officer on traffic patrol sees a car puttering along at 22 MPH. So, he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over. Approaching the car, he notices that there are five little old ladies, two in the front seat and three in the back, wide-eyed and white as ghosts. The driver, obviously confused, says to him, "Officer, I don't understand, What seems to be the problem" The officer replies, " "Ma'am," You weren't speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers." "Slower". she says, "No sir", the old woman says proudly, "I was doing exactly twenty-two miles an hour!"
The officer contains a chuckle, explaining to her that "22" was the road's route number, not the speed limit. A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked the officer for pointing out her error. As he prepared to return to his patrol car the office says, "Before I let you go, Ma'am, I have to ask, is everyone in this car OK? Your passengers seem awfully shaken and they haven't muttered a single peep this whole time," The driver responds. "Oh, these ladies will be all right in a minute officer. We just got off Route 142."
No Joke, SOme Seniors Struggle
That's funny! Unless you are a senior driver. Then you feel the burn of the rest of the driving public's disdain for grey and blue hair on the road behind the wheel. Younger drivers don't have a lot of patience with senior drivers, not realizing or caring that they themselves will be seniors on the road sooner than they think!
Still, the stereotypes exist because the aging process brings challenges, from muscle movement to memory retention, to the gradual loss of fine motor skills, all can impact driving abilities, leaving many older adults and their families concerned for their safety on the road.
A new survey of seniors (lots of KIT listeners have AARP cards!) reveals almost 40% of respondents said driving gets tougher as they aged with seeing or reading signs at night as the task that had become the most difficult.
How Old Is Too old To Drive?
So how old is too old to drive? The Centers For Disease Controls Older Adult Drivers | Motor Vehicle Safety | CDC Injury Center says, "older drivers are more likely to suffer from a decline in cognitive function as well as eyesight than other drivers. And every year more than 250,000 older adults land in emergency rooms due to car accidents."
So what senior "precautions" make sense? Vision tests? Florida requires one at age 80 and Illinois requires drivers 75 and older to retake both their road test and their vision test. More than 60% of survey respondents think older drivers should have to retake the test once they hit a certain age like 68. Only 25% believe there should be an age at which you no longer can drive picking 84 as the top end.