Monday, October 30, 2006

Sharing the road with the elderly

Hi. My name is Janelle and I’m a road rage-aholic.

No, I’m not the person that drives up on your bumper and I promise I won’t pull out a gun if you cut me off, though I might yell an expletive or two.

Ya’ll, nothing provokes or intensifies my road rage faster than elderly drivers.

Just yesterday I was in a parking lot and an elderly lady drives up in her large Buick. As she tries to turn down one of the lanes - slowly, oh so slowly – she runs onto the curb.


I stand there and watch as she does a 3-point turn to get down the lane and then some kind of 6-point turn to get into a parking space.

I won’t even get into the many drivers I get behind that are traveling 15 miles under the speed limit…in the fast lane!

I know that driving is a cornerstone of the elderly remaining independent through their golden years, but I don’t think an individual’s dependency issues should be put above public safety.

As we get older our vision, coordination skills and ability to react in a timely manner decline. Doesn’t it make sense that we should truthfully assess our ability to safely operate a motor vehicle?

I am such a proponent of testing the elderly every year on their driving skills.

There are too many studies available providing info on why driving gets more dangerous with age to ignore.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers over 65, along with new teen-age drivers, have the highest accident rates per miles driven. One study found that the fatality rate for drivers 85 and over is nine times as high as the rate for drivers aged 25 – 69.

The number of licensed elderly drivers has been on the rise, a trend that will continue since it is estimated that by 2030 the elderly are expected to represent 20 percent of the population.

Today starts my campaign. My first step? A letter to my local congressman…

6 comments:

Adam Kealoha Causey said...

Does anyone think Janelle is mad?

Jayme said...

Easy there metal foot!! LOL!! I am glad you have come to grips with your road rage...the first step to solving the problem is admitting that you have one!! LOL!! So congrats sister!! Here in VA they now have that "seniors on the go" program where cabs come and get them vs. them getting on the bus or them getting in your way on the road...maybe you guys should start something similar!! Love you and Wooooooosaaaaah!!! Drive safely!

*Jaimee*

melody said...

Oh, Janelle, your golden years will arrive faster than you think. To paraphrase Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes, You may be young and quick, but I have more insurance.
And don't honk at those slow, old drivers. They carry guns, too.

Stephanie Netherton said...

Reminder: Never ride with Janelle.

Can I just make one request? If you see a little old lady, with a head full of black hair, behind the wheel of a white Lincoln Town Car be nice ... that's my grandmother!

Val Horvath said...

Ha. Road rage-aholic. That's Janelle, alright...

Janelle Rucker said...

Hello people...the issue here is not my impeccable driving skills...it's these elderly drivers that stay on the road when maybe they should be on a bus or something...
I will add that not all elderly drivers are bad drivers and they're not the only bad drivers in the world. But something needs to be done.