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Elderly Drivers

             It has happened to most of us, getting stuck on a one-lane road behind an elderly woman or man who seems to refuse to drive at minimum speed limit. What should be done to keep elderly drivers and others safe on the road? If we as a society take away the rights of older drivers to drive, the older generation will loose some of their freedom. Driving is a privilege as well as an independence that we all can to take for granted. The issue of elderly driving has become a major debate. Therefore a mandatory-driving test is a new protocol to curb the elderly drivers. We are given our licenses to operate motor vehicles based on the assumption, as measured from the driver's tests that we are physically and mentally capable of driving safely under the requirements of the law. Society should restrict or regulate licensed operators over the age of 65 from operating a vehicle, if they cannot pass the typical driving test. .
             As people in our society age, there will be more elderly people on the road as a consequence. The safety of the older motorists and others are becoming a problem we are currently facing. Should the elderly (people 65 and over) be able to drive? Or should they be taken off the road? Elderly or senior drivers make up about ten percent of all U.S. drivers, and by 2030, nearly one in five Americans will be reaching the 65 and above mark. The fatality rate of the elderly has increased 33 percent in the last ten years (Christian Science Monitor). "Statics from the insurance institute also show that drivers 85 and older are about as likely to be involved in a fatal crash as those 16-19." (Review of Optometry, August 15, 2003) These facts can be alarming to some people. Statics are compelling but it gives the elderly a wonderful insight on what individuals their age commit when driving at the age of 65 and older. Critics say many elderly drivers, who hit curbs, confuse brake and gas pedals, and stop suddenly in traffic should be permanently parked.

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