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Traffic Safety:

Get out the way Grampa!

Someday that may be directed at you.  As sure as a 20 year old kid with cat like reflexes needs to get to the store to by groceries, seniors need to get them to.  How do you tell Grandma or Grandpa it's time to quit?  Do they really need to?  Make a decision that you are happy with.

Recognize things that stop you from driving:

As all people do, we die.  We cannot drive a car forever.  To say you should stop driving at a certain age is just crazy.  Everyone is different.  So you must be able to evaluate yourself at any age, and decide if you are able to drive. Set a predetermined quit point for yourself, and do not allow for excuses when it's time to stop.  Realize that if you were to get into an accident with another vehicle or pedestrian, you are not the only casualty.

Here are some common reasons why all of us become less able to drive:

  • Vision loss
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Medications
  • Physical limitations
  • Heavy car doors
  • Poor visibility in vehicle  (An example would be small windows)
  • Seats that do not support proper position for your size
  • Vehicles that are too large, and difficult to operate
  • Environment (Do you drive in a busy city, or in a rural community?)

Some of these things you have the ability to change and extend your driving career.

Analyzing Yourself

Response time:

An import fact you need to know.  Engineers design our roads using the figure that the average response time for a driver is 3/4 of a second if they are paying attention.  Can you clap you hands, or tap your feet 8 times in 10 seconds.  If you can not, take out those scissors, or get someone to help you, and cut up your license.  You are simply not fast enough to respond to any kind of dangers.  You may have been a professional racecar driver in your 30's, but if you can not pass this simple test forget driving.


If you have difficulty seeing, well you need to see.  Sometimes it might be as simple as saying no driving at night time.  If you can not see clearly for 300 feet, and you have your glasses on forget driving.  You may not be worried about getting hurt yourself, but that 8 year old boy who just accidentally ran in front of you sure cares.  You have to see, you have to be able to react.  

You may not be broken

The truth is you may still be able to drive.  If you can see well, and respond quickly why not?  Too often the problem could be quickly remedied by selling that 22 foot long Cadillac, and buying a smaller car like a Honda.  Look for a car with few blind spots, and that is easy to get in and out of.  Keep the inside of your car clean and your windows cleaner to minimize any distractions.  Another huge factor that may greatly improve your driving is to minimize talking to passengers.  Believe it or not studies are starting to reflect  that talking to passengers may be just as dangerous as talking on a cell phone.

For more information see visit NHTSA.