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Seniors On The Road

Welcome to the Ask W1z111 "Seniors On The Road" page! 

Here, I hope to offer some tips and treasures for seniors who wish to continue driving their cars, trucks, SUV's or other vehicles (motorcycles?), so they can remain independent and "mobile".

Some seniors probably should not drive for various reasons, including: failed eyesight; certain medications; certain other physical or mental disabilities; and other potentially "dangerous-for-driving" attributes that sometimes afflict aging persons.

As we all know, driving a motor vehicle can be "hazardous to one's health" at any age; not because YOU are not a good driver; but often because OTHER DRIVERS might not be so good! Sometimes, of course, we all might be those "other drivers"; depending on circumstances.

As we also know, there are many laws that govern motor vehicle and driving safety; and some states already have, or are considering whether or not drivers should be re-tested periodically after reaching a certain age. Below, you'll find some links to some articles, commentary, and even some CT Office of Legislative Research (OLR) reports about this topic.

Westport News - March, 2010
Article that promotes Connecticut's older drivers being re-tested; though no law now exists.
Elderly Driver Issues - 2002

Do accident statistics show elderly drivers, particularly Connecticut's elderly drivers, to be more of a safety problem than drivers in other age groups?
Driving With Disabilities and Retesting of Elderly Persons - 2006

People who have medical impairments or physical disabilities are not precluded from getting or retaining drivers' licenses, but they may be required to demonstrate their ability to drive in order to get or retain their driving privilege.
Requirements In Other States For Elderly Drivers Renewing Drivers' Licenses - 2006
There are relatively few states that have retesting requirements for license renewal that are aimed strictly at drivers in older age groups.


Looking at some of the articles and other information available about seniors and driving, it is plain to see that it's probably just a matter of time before some new laws come out, perhaps requiring all seniors to be re-tested (after a certain age); or, perhaps establishing more stringent regulations regarding some medications commonly taken by seniors, or perhaps allowing DMV to access drivers' medical records, so they can see which medications might affect drivers' safety on the road, or perhaps some combination of these.

Needless to say, safety is paramount on the road; and, if the overall statistics relating to seniors' driving capabilities warrant new and tougher laws, we know they will be enacted; that's just how it usually works. 


So, it certainly behooves seniors (indeed, all drivers!) to pay close attention to their own individual circumstances; and how some of those circumstances might affect their privilege to drive.

Unfortunately, there are so many ways that drivers can become "unsafe-for-the-road", that it is nearly impossible for law-enforcement to ensure the safety of all


We have laws against using cell-phones while driving; we have laws against driving without seatbelts; we have laws against "distracted driving"; we have laws against speeding and reckless driving; and laws about where children are permitted to sit; and what kind of child car-seats are approved; and on and on it goes.

It becomes apparent that driving can no longer be approached with the, "I'm in control" personal commitment to safety.  It is clear that Insurance companies and legislative agencies do not really trust most drivers to make their own "wise decisions", and are clamping down on what they deem to be "unsafe driving" practices and capabilities; allegedly to save lives on our highways; and more likely driven mostly by economics (cell-phone use while driving causes accidents; banning such use should reduce insurance and other costs).


Helpguide.org
Senior Driving - Safety tips, warning signs, and knowing when to stop.
AAA SeniorDrivers.org
Seniordrivers.org is a website portal for senior drivers, their families, researchers, and alternative transportation providers.
AAA Seniors.com
Driving is a function of ability, not age. However, driving ability is affected by natural changes to our bodies over time. AAA is dedicated to keeping seniors driving as long as safely possible.
NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) - Senior Drivers
Getting older does not necessarily mean a person's driving days are over. But it is important to plan ahead and take steps to ensure the safety of your loved ones on the road. NHTSA offers free materials to help you learn more about how to recognize and discuss changes in your older loved one's driving.


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Here's a list of helpful resources from educatorlabs.org relating to Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety on the road.

Global Road Safety Partnership

Cycling: THINK!: Roadsafety

Bicycles | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety Guide

Safety Tips | Safe Kids Worldwide
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Here's a few links provided by 

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