Leave seniors alone

Every couple of weeks or so, I turn on the TV to find what I would call one of the biggest constant media bashups. ‘Senior or Elderly driver loses control of car and shouldn’t have been on the road’ – this is the normal headline every time a news crew is able to get to the scene of a crash and interview people who saw it happen.

Leave seniors alone, blog, driving tests, mature, elderly, baby boomers, control, response, skills, medical, media

Every couple of weeks or so, I turn on the TV to find what I would call one of the biggest constant media bashups. ‘Senior or Elderly driver loses control of car and shouldn’t have been on the road’ – this is the normal headline every time a news crew is able to get to the scene of a crash and interview people who saw it happen. When you compare the proportion of mature drivers involved in such incidents to those of inexperienced drivers, who these days have even more distractions (mobile phones), they pale into insignificance.

It is a fact that when we age, our reflexes and awareness does slow down and by how much is different for every individual. As with anything that involves a risk, there should be plans in place to regulate when that person is too much of a risk to the people around them. A number of states do currently have 2-3 yearly medical and driving tests for drivers over a certain age, but many of the states don’t, leaving the responsibility of knowing when it is time to give up the keys to the individual or to the family as identified by Chloe’s Dilemma – When is it time to surrender the car keys?

The media needs to back off with its ageist stories and comments which make out that mature members of society are past their use by date.

For more Information on driving tests for older people broken into states and territories, visit www.seniors.gov.au.

Does the media often overstep the mark and come across as ageist?
Yes
No
 




    COMMENTS

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    Dawnmarie45
    23rd Mar 2012
    2:26pm
    There are lots more accidents, especially ones causing fatalities, by younger drivers. I cannot understand why "older" drivers are considered the most dangerous.
    Min
    24th Mar 2012
    10:33am
    Some of of us are maybe more careful keeping to the speed limits but It is usually only the impatient young ones trying to overtake us etc that cause the accidents. We don't get the fines so why should we have to display a "S " for sign? If that is the case anyone who causes an accident through speeding etc should display a "I " sign for idiot.
    tjayz
    25th Mar 2012
    5:01pm
    It's not such a big deal to give up driving if you are fortunate to live close to the shops etc. I was diagnosed with MS 12 years ago at the age of 52, it affected my vision and also my concentration and I realised I no longer enjoyed driving. I made the decision to sell my car and when that was done, it was a relief to not have to worry about driving any more.

    I can still walk to the shops etc and when the time comes I will get an electric scooter. If I need to go further afield and don't have a friend available to drive me there, I take a taxi. After all, with all the money I save by not running a car, I can easily afford the occasional taxi fare!

    I understand how some people cannot live without their car due to their circumstances, but for people who could possibly manage without driving, just weigh up how much that car costs you to run each year and think about how much money you'd save by not having one.... for me, the money saved pays for more taxi fares than I could ever need.


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