Elderly drivers

The awful events in Bathurst yesterday, where an 82-year old backed her car into a group of bystanders, injuring ten, raise the really tough question: how many of us would be willing to tell an elderly relative that they shouldn’t be driving any longer?

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4 Responses to Elderly drivers

  1. The was partially solved in our family many years ago by me driving my grandmother around under the pretence of her giving me driving lessons. What I lacked in experience I made up for in noticing curbs etc. These things are very hard. Until a few months before she died she had been an excellent driver. In losing their licences elderly people don’t just lose part of their independence, they lose part of who they think they are, especially for men I would expect.

  2. crocodile says:

    Do 82 year olds crash into bystanders with any greater frequency than younger drivers ?

  3. phil says:

    We did it when the old man was about 80. He’d had about an accident a year for about 4 years so after the last one we took the keys and gave the car – when repaired – to our son. A few years after, father started making noises about getting “a little car, just to go to the shops in” and we said no. Not easy and we certainly could understand, but not feel how he felt at the loss of independence. But we knew he was unsafe behind the wheel because of cumulative physical impairments he suffered at the time.

  4. Christine says:

    Depends on the relative, doesn’t it? I have one grandma who would have stopped driving as soon as anyone suggested that she might hurt someone. The other, well, if you’d told her she was past it, she’d have tried to prove that she was a better driver than anyone else on the road by actively seeking out dangerous driving situations.

    Neither actually drove, though, so wasn’t a practical concern.

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