Arguement Paper: Are Elderly Drivers Safe for Our Roads?

Topics: Ageing, Death, Gerontology Pages: 3 (1005 words) Published: October 21, 2010
As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his cell phone rang. Picking up, he heard his wife, her voice high with anxiety; warning him, "Henry, I just saw on the news that there's one car driving the wrong way on Highway 880. Please be careful!" Henry replied, "What do you mean one? You've got to be kidding me. I see at least a hundred!"

Elderly drivers are one of the rising issues in our society nowadays and it’s no joke. Little attention has been given to it despite the increasing number of accident caused by such. Tests for elderly drivers should be made mandatory and restrictions should be placed on some of them to add more safety and reduce accidents to our roads. Aging is a part of life, it is inevitable and people degenerate with time, it’s the cold hard truth.

Reflexes, flexibility, visual acuity, memory and the ability to focus all decline with age. The mind’s reaction time slows, confusion grows and distractions have greater impact. Several vision problems also can interfere with driving like cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. The muscles easily stiffen, motion becomes painful and so glancing over one’s shoulder to look for traffic becomes difficult. Arthritis causes pain on the hands, making it hard to grip on the steering wheel. The knee and ankle joints stiffen too, increasing the possibility of hitting the wrong pedal.*

A number of accident cases were reported involving elderly drivers. Perhaps the most controversial in the Dallas area is the Grimes case. In a news article in USA Today, Elizabeth Grimes, a widow who had lived on Meaders Lane for 50 years, had backed out of her driveway, across her lawn and off the curb. Her 1994 Mercury Grand Marquis then hit the curb across the street, Prager recalls, before Grimes mistook the gas pedal for the brake and "took off with a jackrabbit start." Six blocks away, Grimes drove through a red light. The car slammed into Katie Bolka, a 17-year-old high school junior who was driving...
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