Dangers Of Older Drivers

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As people age, naturally their bodies do as well. Over the years, the many skills and abilities that are critical to have while driving, including good vision, good hearing, and quick reaction time, tend to deteriorate. Because many older people continue to drive despite having lost their motor skills, other drivers and their passengers are put at risk of being involved in an accident. The natural aging process affects one’s driving skills, making older drivers a danger to the safety of themselves and others; therefore, more uniform state laws and provisions are needed to monitor the driving abilities of this section of the population. It is not fair for dangerous, elderly drivers to continue driving and put innocent, capable drivers and their …show more content…
According to the Hearing Health Foundation, “hearing impairment occurs in about… 47% of adults ages 75 and over.” Although people with defective hearing are legally allowed to obtain licenses in the United States, they are exposed to certain problems that other drivers do not face. Elderly people who suffer hearing problems would be unable to hear emergency vehicles’ sirens as well as the horns of other cars warning of danger. By not moving out of the way for an emergency vehicle, drivers could delay the vehicle’s response to an emergency or even cause an accident as the vehicle attempts to go around them. Elderly, hearing impaired people are less aware of what is going on around them and as a result they more likely to be involved in an accident with other drivers. Some people may argue loud music could have the same effect as poor hearing, but people have the option to turn the music down when they need to better concentrate on the road. Elderly people with poor hearing, however, cannot simply change the quality of their hearing when necessary. If elderly drivers are required to retest to renew their driver’s licenses, the examiners will easily be able to recognize whether or not the drivers are able to hear properly and will pass or fail the drivers …show more content…
According to Layton, as people age, their “muscles weaken, reflexes slow down, and flexibility decreases.” Weak muscles and lack of flexibility make it more difficult for elderly people to move, thus making simple tasks, like turning to check for traffic before pulling out or turning the wheel to make sharp left turns a challenge. “Also, arthritis is a very common thing among senior citizens,” Layton writes, “making quick and fluid motion and maneuverability even more difficult.” Throughout the aging process, mental issues occur in addition to physical problems. As people age, their reaction times begin to slow. Elderly people have slower reactions than people under the age of 55 because their brains take longer to process events (Layton). Driving often requires quick thinking and even quicker reactions in order to avoid causing accidents. Because seniors cannot react as rapidly as sometimes necessary, they are more likely to be involved in avoidable accidents. Apart from normal aging of the mind, elderly people can also suffer from advanced mental degeneration. Mild dementia and mild Alzheimer’s are common, age-related mental diseases that cause disorientation and difficulty with motor functions. For seniors suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s, driving can become difficult. Also, some elderly people suffering from cognitive decay are unaware that

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