Elderly Drivers in America Proposal Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

In addition, it could actually lower insurance premiums, especially on the elderly, because insurance companies could be assured that the elderly drivers they are insuring are indeed still capable of driving safely.

In addition, creating federal legislation for the states can only save lives - not only of elderly drivers, but of others who come in contact with them. Studies show that, "For every mile they drive, people age 75 or older are more likely to be seriously injured or killed in an automobile accident than are drivers in any other age group except for teenagers. (McKnight 63). Another study notes, "Of traffic fatalities involving older drivers, 82% happened in the daytime, 71% occurred on weekdays, and 75% involved a second vehicle" ("Older Drivers"). Thus, elderly drivers are a danger to themselves, and are more likely to be injured because of their increasingly frail health, but they are also a danger to others, as the incident in Santa Monica reminds everyone. Elderly drivers should be mandatory testing beginning at age 65, and they should have to renew their drivers licenses in person, take written, verbal, and vision tests, and they should have to have evaluations from their doctors to ensure they are mentally and physically able to drive. Nationwide regulations like these may seem stiff, but with more elderly drivers on the road, they are a measure that is necessary, and necessary soon.

What can Americans do to help create a better regulation system for elderly drivers? First, the family of elderly drivers needs to be involved in their loved ones' lives, and their decision to continue driving. Loved ones can often see impaired motor skills and vision problems that their elderly relatives may not want to acknowledge. One problem with the elderly giving up their automobiles is the lack of convenient public transportation that they can utilize as an alternative. If decent public transportation was available in most areas, seniors could still shop, visit their doctors and friends, and attend recreational events in relative ease. However, public transportation lags in many areas of the country, and when it does exist, it is often not geared to the needs of the frail and the slower elderly rider.

In addition, Americans need to contact their Congressmen to help create nationwide regulations that will ensure the safety of all Americans. If enough Americans ask for nationwide regulations, then Congress will have to act. The problem will not go away, and the solution is not simply, but it is certainly warranted. As studies show, mandatory testing beginning at age 65 can save lives, save money, and save the elderly from harming themselves and others. It may not be an easy, or even a popular step, but developing a set of comprehensive testing guidelines that can be implemented throughout the country is simply the right thing to do to help the elderly, and all the other drivers on the road today, and in the future.

References

Author not Available. "Older Drivers." SmartMotorist.com. 2004. 23 March 2005. http://www.smartmotorist.com/eld/eld.htm

McKnight, a. James. "Too Old to Drive?" Issues in Science and Technology Winter 2000: 63.

Mercier, Cletus R., and Scott R. Falb. "Policy Issues: License Renewal for Older Drivers - Analysis of the Iowa Experience in Reexamination of High-Risk Drivers." Policy Studies Journal 25.1 (1997): 157+.

Putting the Brakes on Older Drivers." State Legislatures Sept. 2004: 8.

Rogers, Wendy a., et al. "Functional Limitations to Daily Living Tasks in the Aged: A Focus Group Analysis." Human Factors 40.1 (1998): 111+.

Sexton, Steve. "California Lawmakers to Take New Look at Driver…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Author not Available. "Older Drivers." SmartMotorist.com. 2004. 23 March 2005. http://www.smartmotorist.com/eld/eld.htm

McKnight, a. James. "Too Old to Drive?" Issues in Science and Technology Winter 2000: 63.

Mercier, Cletus R., and Scott R. Falb. "Policy Issues: License Renewal for Older Drivers - Analysis of the Iowa Experience in Reexamination of High-Risk Drivers." Policy Studies Journal 25.1 (1997): 157+.

Putting the Brakes on Older Drivers." State Legislatures Sept. 2004: 8.

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