Have you ever been late, only to find yourself behind an old person driving ten miles per hour below the speed limit? As people get older, they have a tendency to develop dwindling vision, hearing problems, and poor reaction times according to Mayo Clinic. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that citizens over the age of 65 are nearly as dangerous as teenagers. If teenagers must be evaluated to determine if they can drive safely, shouldn’t senior citizens as well?
Senior citizens account for nine percent of the driving population, yet they are responsible for 14% of all traffic and 17% of pedestrian fatalities. Senior citizens drive an annual average of about 7,500 miles per year in contrast to drivers aged 20-64 who drive about 15,000 miles driven annually. These statistics which are directly from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that senior citizens cause significantly more accidents on the road annually for each mile they drive than drivers aged 20-64.
Impairments which negatively affect driving abilities are more commonly inherited with old age, but are certainly not universal to citizens over the age of 65. Many older citizens develop poor reaction times, sensory impairments, and memory loss, which immediately makes them dangerous on the road. A mandatory retesting of their driving ability is a perfect solution to determine which senior citizens are still capable of safe driving.
Citizens over the age of 65 should have to retake their driver’s test to evaluate if they can safely drive because of their increased risk of visual impairment, hearing loss, poor reaction times, and memory loss.
Alex Warmus, Staff Writer
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