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Should We Regulate Drivers As They Age?

Should We Regulate Drivers As They Age?

News of Reese Witherspoon’s recent accident spread fast after the actress was hit by a car while jogging across a crosswalk. Fortunately for Witherspoon, she was not hurt too badly . US magazine reports that she did suffer a small gash on her forehead, but other than that is doing fine.

Though Witherspoon has said she will not press charges against the 84 year old driver who hit her, the driver was ticketed by police after the accident. TMZ also reports that police are demanding the driver retake a driving and eye test within the next 30 days as well as providing the DMV with a list of all the medications she is currently taking.

This brings us to the question of whether there should be more regulations placed on drivers as they age. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a study that reveals drivers over age 75 are over two and a half times more likely to die in a car crash than younger drivers. And drivers who are over 85 are four times more likely to die in a car crash than drivers age 55 to 64.

President of the AAA Foundation, Peter Kissinger, explains why he recommends most senior drivers take refresher driving courses or a driver improvement course. Kissinger says, “As we age, our reaction time and other cognitive skills can diminish. For instance, our eyesight deteriorates to such an extent that by age 60 we require ten times the amount of light necessary to see an object as when we were 16."

AAA has a site dedicated to helping seniors assess their own driving skills as they age and plan for their continued mobility in the future.

Do you think there should be regulations to reassess driver’s abilities as they age?

Or do you think this should be up to the driver and the driver’s family to decide?

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  • pamom24 By pamom24

    I agree. i think all drivers aged 65 and older should be tested. there are too many older people driving that don't pay attention, break laws, and hurt people. My grandfather-in-law has eye problems and has issues with his driving leg but still insists on driving oonce and a while. i fear he will hurt himself and others. A vision test should be required and medical history should be looked over for anything that could cause the driver to pass out, forget where they are going, what they are doing or cause muscle spasms.

  • beachfam4 By beachfam4

    I think if you qualify for a senior citizens discount 60-65. That is a good time to have your driving retested.

  • Bearyunique By Bearyunique

    Yes I believe there should be retesting on the elderly. My grandfather would make sudden stops while he was driving and got rear-ended 3 times in one month. And about a year ago I watched an ederly man turn onto the freeway ramp in the wrong direction, I had to drive as fast as I could to get the police station to report him because I didn't have a cell phone at the time.

  • hbmomma By hbmomma

    I think older drivers should be tested more often because no one would want to give up their ability to drive.

  • djcalli By djcalli

    Yes. Many times people's reflexes aren't what they used to be. I do believe that some people can drive quite safely until they are into their hundreds, but all people should be tested yearly or regularly after a certain age (or at a young age, for that matter), because many accidents involve the elderly or the very young.

  • smartshopperjulie By smartshopperjulie

    Unfortunately, I see a lot of older drivers make mistakes because of their slower reaction time, so yes, I do believe there should be a mandatory retraining no later than age 60.

  • lekhamary By lekhamary

    Yes but not because a driver hit a "celebrity". Because elderly people (some of them) have difficulty driving and put everyone on the road at risk.

  • aliciab2010 By aliciab2010

    Yes, I believe anyone 65 or over should be required to take a vision and reaction time test every year.

  • rayofson66 By rayofson66

    Yes I do. I don't know how the criteria should be set up, however my father would still be driving if I would have left it up to him. They should decide on an age, and then maybe it should be assessed by their physician and so that doesn't fall through the cracks, the DOT should require a yearly renewal that can't be received unless they have a copy of the assessment and the applicant passes DOT's assessment as well. I don't know.... I do think it's something that she be looked at and reviewed.

  • juliebreeding By juliebreeding

    I believe that after they are 60 they should test every year for eye and then 70 for the whole test.

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