Sunday, May 22, 2011

Older Drivers, Wrecks and Keeping my Grandchildren Safe!

Fort Buchanan's Golf Club Cart, July 4, 2006. ...Image via WikipediaMy grandson was in a wreck.  His mother's VW Jetta was totaled.  He is sore but not permanently damaged.  The other driver was at fault and was given a ticket.  My Grandson did not get a ticket.  He is 17 and the other driver is 86.  We can only hope that this lady had good insurance on her car.

This post is about two worlds colliding.  We all worry about our teens and how they will handle a world of speed, traffic and danger.  A child is so precious.  They do grow up and want to look grown up.  That is where cars come into play.  Other than sex, I suppose parents worry more about their teen driver than anything else.  A parent and grandparent's worst nightmare is having the child be in a wreck.  But, as this wreck leads us to believe, maybe it is not the teen driver we should be worrying about.  Maybe it is the grandparent driver.

If you are a senior driver, I think the rules of the road apply especially to you.  Drinking and driving is a BIG no no.  Good insurance is a must.  There is even senior citizen car insurance and AARP provides for part of your insurance needs.  Losing your abilities to drive safely and do all those things involved in driving means you will loose your right to drive.  That is not good.  But in so many cases it saves the world from accidents.

On The Sunday Morning show today they featured a story about The Villages in Florida. It seems seniors are turning to the reliable, safer golf cart when they are denied a driver's license.  Those people that live in retirement communities buy fancy carts and drive them on streets designed for golf carts.

In the world of the boomer we are finding that an aging population is creating problems we have not even thought about. Golf carts are not allowed on city streets or freeways. Older drivers in high traffic areas with ever changing types of traffic signals and patterns are a danger to everyone.  The younger people in Florida have been talking about snowbirds for years. Retirees attached to oxygen tanks are peering through the steering wheel to see the road.  Younger people are frightened by the thought of what might happen if one of these retirees should wander into their lane of traffic.  My grandson is a testament to what can happen.

 Getting old is bad enough. Slowing responses to emergency situations and limited mobility/vision/mental capacity can be a real problem.  But no car???? Talk about a shrinking world!  But there are things we can do:
  • Learn to use public transportation.
  • Budget for a taxi.
  • Learn about senior citizen buses.
  • Live in a place close to public transportation or in a community with services nearby.
  • Be social with neighbors...the need to be out on the road will be greatly reduced.
  •'s good for you.
  • If you must drive, do it earlier in the day when you are more alert.
It is just a thought!

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