Saturday, November 28, 2009

Scoot out of the way!

I regularly spot these fabulous transportation vehicles. I recall how difficult it was to persuade Dad to even use the a walker, let alone a wheel chair. Then, when he was confined to a wheelchair, it drove him crazy. 

Imagine the senior with limited mobility, having the freedom of zipping around town. Muskoka towns are populated with these scooters. With modern batteries, they can manage our hills and roads.

These little scooters are just a great transportation vehicle, but there have been accidents. I have had students with disabilities have to learn that their wheelchair is now an extension of their personal space. As the article says, those driving a scooter need to understand how much space they take up, and to avoid rolling over toes.

I have previously posted about the signs to watch for in senior drivers. It is difficult to be told that your skills are not what they have been.

Senior Drivers in the news tell us a story of dangerous driving, as response times increase, mobility is decreased, and age takes its toll on our bodies.

I spotted this gentleman on our way up to Lake Superior Park! Obviously, having a good time...he waved at every driver that passed by.

As I wrote previously in, Senior Drivers in Ontario, Transport Canada warns of seniors having car accidents in intersections. Current stats, in the recent Ontario move to more severely curtail teen drivers, reveals statistics that demonstrate seniors are more risky than newbie teen drivers.

I read a really sad, startling and funny article in

Beware of seniors driving scooters - Toronto,Ontario,Canada
He recalls one elderly man who gave up his licence “on the premise he could drive this thing like a car.” Repeatedly, police urged the man and his scooter onto the sidewalk.

“You are to yield to vehicles and bicycles,” he booms. “You can’t pull into traffic. Use the crosswalks. Wear bright clothing. Remember! You are a pedestrian!” 

I can't imagine telling such seniors what to do! Like teenagers, they take their new freedom for granted and the ones in the news story have been acting like hooligans. Rather a 2nd wind, methinks. 
Many new contraptions provide seniors with more opportunities for freedom and transportation. One man sold his father's car, invested the money and arranged for a taxi company to look after all of his transportation needs. This makes a lot of sense.

Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network: Wheelchair riders often lose out ...
Last month, a 43-year-old Yucaipa man was left in critical condition after being struck by a truck while he crossed Yucaipa Boulevard in a motorized wheelchair. The truck was driven by a 16-year-old boy, who police said was not speeding and tried to stop before plowing into Wayne Swanson's wheelchair.