Opinion-Elderly Driving

Opinion-Elderly Driving - 1 Trang Mai 103-53 Safe Drivers...

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Trang Mai 103-53 April 28, 2005 Safe Drivers Are elderly drivers safe? Should they stay off the road? Everyone has loved-ones that are elderly drivers and knows that it is extremely hard to tell them to give up driving. Assuming elders should stay off the road because they are old is unacceptable because many seniors are perfectly capable of driving safely. Driving skills vary from one person to another just as aging and all elders should not be punished for the problems caused by only a few elderly drivers (Aging Parents). The solution is not to find ways to take the elder’s drivers’ licenses, but instead to help elders have a better understanding of the affects of aging and driving. Seniors are safe drivers as much as anyone; by helping them become more aware that aging will cause deterioration in vision, hearing, and reaction time (Farlam), elders will be able make their own decision about driving without being offended by others’ choices for them. Eyesight is usually the first sense that is weakened with age and most seniors should be aware that vision is a very significant aspect for safe driving (Farlam). Around the age of 40, adults begin to experience the earliest effects of age-related vision changes when they can no longer read books without their glasses (Safe Senior). Seniors know the importance of safety because they have longer experience in driving and are more responsible drivers (Stutts 195). In realizing the affect vision has on driving, seniors should have regular eye checks for “cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other conditions associated with aging” (Farlam). By simply wearing glasses, if needed while driving, seniors are improving their safety on the roads. Many 1
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seniors limit driving at night due to the reduction of visual acuity (Safe Senior). However, seniors can also drive safely at night by following the night driving rules such as “making sure windows and lights are clean,” “use clear glass spectacles at night,” and “if approaching headlights…momentarily look down and to the left of the road” (Farlam). Seniors should be able to make up their own decision when they realize they can no longer drive safely. No one knows an elder better than themselves therefore decision should not be made for elders; instead they should be allowed to make up their own minds. Another affect of aging that elders should be aware of is the loss of hearing acuity. Safe maneuvering in one’s environment is highly dependent on the accurate perception of auditory cues (Fozard 37). A slight deafness could make it difficult for anyone driving because not hearing emergency signals can be very dangerous. Not allowing elders to drive due to their hearing impairments is discriminatory, because then all people with the loss of hearing should not be driving either. There are many ways to help people drive safely even with hearing problems. Hearing aides could easily simplify the problem (Safe Senior). Hearing is constantly changing for elders so it is
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