General Question

willbrawn's avatar

Should senior citizens have to retake the test to get their drivers license?

Asked by willbrawn (6614points) August 19th, 2008 from iPhone

I love old people but sometimes they scare me on the road. What do you think. Retake test for license?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

24 Answers

poofandmook's avatar

absolutely. I LOVE elderly people. But the truth is, things start to go and it’s not safe for some to drive anymore.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Definitely. Young people have to take it because they don’t know what they’re doing yet and old people should take it simply because certain things, like reaction time, control, etc. start to deteriorate with age. It’s not an insult against them, just a fact of life.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Maybe everybody should have to retake their driving test every five years. That way you can be accused of being ageist.

poofandmook's avatar

@Lightly: Maybe not every 5… maybe every 10. Renewals here in NJ are 4 years as it is; they’d have to take a test every renewal. But still a good idea.

cheebdragon's avatar

My great grandmas drivers license was valid until 2005, she was 95 years old….....
Thank god my grandma convinced her that she shouldn’t be driving at 91, after she got lost a few times and ended up on the other side of town.
The DMV needs to make seniors take them take the written and driving test every 5 years…

jcs007's avatar

Shabam. In a nutshell, I say yes. I, too, fear the elderly on the road.

trudacia's avatar

This is a great question. Unfortunately, yes! I hate to discriminate but I’m driven to road rage whenever I’m behind an elderly person doing 25 in a 50. I don’t know the facts but I would compare many of these drivers to those that drive under the influence of alcohol.

wrestlemaniac's avatar

i had this bad experience, my dad was driving on the road, and all of a sudden there was this elderly person who drove past us at like 20 mph and his eyes were CLOSED!!!!, that scared the crap out of me.

augustlan's avatar

Yes…I’ll leave it up to the researchers to decide at what age this should begin, and how often.

skfinkel's avatar

Yes, retest. And I like the suggestion of @lightlyseared that maybe everyone should be tested every certain number of years. But certainly we need to do something when people begin getting older. Of course, aging is very individual, and it depends on good eyes and reflexes and judgment. I know some people who shouldn’t be on the road at any age—but that’s another story.

My concern about the elderly driving is that you don’t want an accident to be the way they stop—I’m worried not so much about them hurting themselves as them hurting someone else, perhaps on a bike, or at an intersection. So, people have to stop driving while they are still doing pretty well—not when they are really doing very poorly. And somehow we need to figure out how to do this fairly.

I remember one time there was a very old man who couldn’t read the signs at the test, and the people giving the test just coached him—pretty much gave him the answers. It was ridiculous—and he was renewing his license for 5 years. He couldn’t have been less than ninety.

MacBean's avatar

Yes. And I’m also all for the idea of EVERYONE being required to retest every now and then. 7–10 years sounds reasonable to me. There are a LOT of bad drivers out there and they are most certainly not limited to the very young and the very old.

SuperMouse's avatar

I adore my 92 year-old grandfather, he is one of my favorite people in this world. However, he has no business behind the wheel. Remember the farmer’s market in Santa Monica? That is what I think of every time I see Grandfather get in the car to drive. Everyone around him is afraid to step up and take his license away,* and if he was required to take a road test every year, he would no longer have it.

* He has four sons and we grandchildren believe it is their responsibility to talk to him, which is why we haven’t taken the bull by the horns on this.

jasonjackson's avatar

Yeah, I think everyone should be required to take a driving/road-safety test every N years (where N is maybe 10 or so) to keep their license, but I think people over the age of about 60 ought to take the test every 3–5 years.

My friends and I sometimes joke about how “DWO” (“driving while old”) can be as bad as DWI. I know that’s bit of an insensitive joke, but honestly, it’s a fact that reflexes decline with age, and some older people also experience a bit of loss of mental acuity. I do think that it’s fair and reasonable to therefore require the test to be taken a bit more often.

augustlan's avatar

@SuperMouse: When I was growing up, I was the only one who would stand up to my grandfather about anything, and he had 5 adult children and a wife! Sometimes the “children” are too close to see the problem, or too locked in to the “parent/child” roles to be effective in these situations. For the sake of your grandfather, and all the innocent people he drives alongside, have the talk with him. You can’t make him give up his license, but perhaps you could convince him to do so voluntarily, if it’s done with love and kindness.

cheebdragon's avatar

supermouse- In California there is a phone number you can call and annonymously request that someone (like your grandfather) come in to the DMV and be retested… It’s on the dmv website. Your state might have that too, if your really worried about the safety of others, it would be a good idea to check into it.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, the statistics are clear. I think they should retest every five years from 70 onward.

tabbycat's avatar

Yes, absolutely. My dad, who was in his mid eighties, died last year. He considered it important for him to keep driving so that he could feel independent, but his reflexes were not what they should have been during his last few years. Though no one wanted him to get sick and die, there was a sense of relief when he stopped driving.

As we age, we just become less sharp, and sometimes we are the last to know it. So, yes, I think seniors should be tested periodically to make sure it is still safe for them to drive. Any responsible senior would feel terrible if he or she caused a serious car crash.

susanc's avatar

My grandmother killed a pedestrian by putting her car in Drive instead of Reverse
when he was walking between her and a concrete wall.
She wasn’t prosecuted.
Because she was old.

willbrawn's avatar

@susanc good reason to have a new law passed i would say.

cak's avatar

Recently, my father (he’s 67, but not healthy) was told by his doctor that he wanted him to be retested for his driver’s license. We had to go this route – having the doctor bring it up, because he wouldn’t listen to us. He has a liver disease and at times, his levels are up and he starts getting very foggy minded…eventually, he doesn’t know who he is or where he is. That’s very dangerous and not something we can risk, so we did have to enlist the doctor – who will send a form in to the state and they will inform him that he must retest.

I believe in elderly rights, (I don’t consider my dad elderly!) but I also believe in safety and safe driving. I believe it should be every 3 years and possibly some type of graduated license.

Lightlyseared's avatar

oh yeah someone with hepatic encepalopathy behind the wheel!

While talking of graduated licenses maybe young people (I’m thinking teenage boys) should be limited to how powerful a car they can drive.

bridold's avatar

Yes. Both my parents work for insurance companies and I’ve heard horror stories of 90-something people mowing down several pedestrians before even realizing what they did.

I know it can be really hard on them, not to be able to have that freedom, but you have to think about the safety of others.

scamp's avatar

It’s already a requirement after a certain age in Florida. I can’t remember how old tho.Edit: I just found this

jamesmerbenz's avatar

Ihate to say this , but Younger drivers cause more accidents in america / dont belive me . ask the insurance company , insurance on senior drivers cast a lot less . they a kid at 16 to 25 does thats a fact . kids love to drive fast and just hate eo be behind a slower driver , to make it simple the speed signs are posted as the max you can drive . and the drivers that exceed that get the ticket not the slower . and slower causes less accidents that driveing with the devil

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