TOO OLD TO DRIVE?
Passenger: Could pick up the pace a LITTLE?
Me: Are you NUTS? This is a safe speed.
Passenger: You?re driving like you?re a hundred (instead of just 71.)
Here?s the thing. You get older, you get more cautious. Sometimes you actually OBEY the speed laws. Which means extracting some tailgaters from your rear bumper after you arrive. I?m not braggin? or nothin? but when you get older.. okay .. it?s p-o-s-s-i-b-l-e your eyesight and hearing aren?t as good. Maybe. Even your reflexes aren?t..uh.. THAT sharp.
But screw you. I drive just fine. And you ain?t gettin? MY keys!
In fact – and contrary to what you probably think – statistics favor geezers who, while doing everything wrong and forcing YOU off the road, tend to compensate for their degraded skills by not taking so many gee-whiz chances. And – yeah – after a hundred years behind the wheel, they DO recognize black ice better than a teenager does.
Doesn?t mean geezering around in a vehicle?s perfect. The risks are real. Some older drivers are b-a-d! And I MEAN bad! Some oldsters could take you out as you?re leavinug the church with your top hat on. At the TOP of the steps.
What to do?
Senior drivers have, obviously, earned the right to a little consideration. It means a lot to be able to drive.
Independence and self respect.
For some, it doesn?t feel like a choice. They don’t have anybody in their lives to take the wheel.
HEAR THE SIREN? I DIDN?T EVEN SEE THE FLASHING LIGHTS, OFFICER
The Intelligent Transport team (Newcastle University) with Dr. Amy Guo at the head, has created a duded up car. It’s a mobile lab with sensors and monitors to figure out if customized aids such as night vision systems, specialized navigation systems, adaptive speed management, and various other innovations can keep older drivers behind the wheel longer and, hence, keep them healthier and more independent overall. The work is to be presented to the Aging, Mobility and Quality of Life conference in Michigan.
For those who are too far gone for Guo?s technology, autonomous (self driving) vehicles should offer another option before long.
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Credits for the car plowing through the stone wall to Martin Addison
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