Proceed with caution

Elderly drivers should be retested to keep licenses

By James Paxson, Sports Editor

The main age group that pose a driving danger to American people are drivers under the age of 18. They tend to drive too fast, don’t listen, don’t have respect and don’t stop at red lights. Last month a five car pileup occurred on Five Mile and Levan. There was a sense of wonder of how this tragic accident happened and who was to blame. Livonia police later revealed that an 80-year-old man from Livonia crossed the center line of Five Mile near Levan and hit a Ford Focus head on.

Inside the focus were two women, 67 and 88. All three were killed. In many instances, senior drivers pose a higher threat than teenage drivers. The question now posed is, should older drivers be required to take a road test to keep their license?

As people age, their driving becomes more hazardous to those around them.

It is no secret that elderly people are not the best drivers. As we age, we start to lose our hearing, our vision becomes impaired and reaction time is glacially slow. Statistically drivers over the age of 70 are getting into more accidents as the years progress. According to motorist.com, the risk of driver fatality increases sharply for drivers over the age of 75.

The older people get the poorer their driving skills are. Older drivers lose their ability to act fast in chaotic situations. In the state of Michigan there are four months of the year where the weather is treacherous for even the sharpest driver.. Acting fast in slippery situations saves lives and without this ability people could suffer. Elderly drivers tend to drive under the speed limit, forget to use their turning indicator, don’t drive straight and of course have difficulty parking correctly in parking spaces.

Many states are making older drivers pass a vision test, but that is the only test being required. If everyone wants the safest driving conditions possible there needs to be more of a test for drivers who are older than 70. Older drivers taking a registered driving test when they reach a certain age would be the best option for everyone.

In America the law does not allow a person under the age of 16 to drive a motor vehicle, and America does not let anyone drive (legally) without passing a driving and written test. There is a point where a driver is not as skilled as they used to be. In ten years more than 30 million drivers will be over the age of 65, some of these drivers will not be good enough to keep their license, but there is no test to determine this.

It is no secret that elderly drivers are worse drivers than younger drivers, and some older drivers are downright dangerous. Most people are very scared and get nervous when they are driving near an older person.

Driving is a privilege and a dangerous activity where if a driver does not pay attention for one second something tragic can occur. The one way to keep everyone safe is to have dangerous drivers off the road, and unfortunately most of those drivers are over 70.

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