Friday, February 22, 2013

Who should report dangerous senior drivers?


We've seen our fair share of drivers, with dementia. Family members either do not know, or are afraid to comment. Seniors who are bad drivers populate rural towns. Everyone knows. No one does anything. It they aren't bad drivers, then a test won't hurt them. Otherwise, they should be retested, and/or  take the senior driver's course. I have photos. 

I think it's a damn fine idea.

  Anonymous tip line to ‘rat out’ unfit elderly motorists unfairly targets seniors, critic says | CARP Canada   This article was published by The National Post on February 20th, 2013.  

In what a seniors advocate calls 'unfair targetting of older people', Sudbury police are urging residents to anonymously report elderly motorists they feel are no longer fit to drive. “If [someone] is really erratic, sure, rat people out. The thing is, that’s not what’s happening here. This is targeting older people,” Susan Eng, vice president for advocacy at the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) said. “It’s a huge infringement on their rights.”

 Is it their right to drive badly?
No. They must have the physical, mental and emotional ability to drive safely. Too many are in denial about their abilities.
Is it their right to kill our children and grandchildren?
No.
There are a lot of health issues that make a driver a dangerous one: DeliriumPolypharmacydementiaHearing impairments. 
Hidden dementia can affect some seniors and getting lost can compound driving errors. The Toronto Star says 20% with dementia are still on the roads.
There are senior driver improvement programs, such as 55 Alive, which are available through safety organizations and various driving schools. This helps seniors maintain their skills and adapt to changing physical abilities. There are 4 important issues: vision, hearing, movement and reaction times. 

Course content helps them adapt to new societal issues: adapting to new laws, technology, anticipate actions of other drivers (i.e., road rage), and to self identify health issues that assist them in determining when how often, and whether they should be driving.

Anyone can make a complaint to the police about bad drivers, but how many of us do?

Warning signs of unsafe driving include:
  • Forgetting how to locate familiar places
  • Failing to observe traffic signals
  • Making slow or poor decisions
  • Problems with changing lanes or making turns
  • Hitting the curb while driving
  • Driving at an inappropriate speed
  • Becoming angry and confused while driving
  • Confusing the brake and gas pedal

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