Whether senior citizens should retake the driver’s test is a very interesting and controversial subject. Although many people feel that singling out a particular group for special treatment is discriminatory, I believe this is outweighed by the safety issues involved.
Elderly people are notoriously poor drivers, and have a disproportionate number of accidents. With the exception of very new drivers, as a group elderly people have the highest accident rate. One reason why this may be so is that older people generally received their licenses decades ago, and are possibly not aware of the new traffic laws. However, this is probably not the major factor. It is more likely that seniors are less competent drivers because of their diminished sensory capacity and slower processing speed.
Hearing and vision tend to become less sharp with age, and as a result older people might not see objects in their path, or hear warning horns. Furthermore, their reflexes tend to be slower. That is, even if they do hear or see dangerous objects, their slower reaction time might prevent them from responding in time to avoid the danger. In addition, elderly drivers (perhaps in an attempt to compensate for the above) tend to drive too slowly, often considerably slower than the posted speed limit. Their excessive caution and slow pace tends to irritate other drivers, who may swerve or react angrily, which may increase the possibility of accidents.
I believe that all senior citizens should retake the entire driving test including the vision, written and road tests after they reach age 65 and every three years thereafter. Should they fail, I believe their licenses should be revoked. They should be allowed to take driver’s education classes, but they should not be permitted to drive until they are able to pass the driving test. Hopefully this proposal will eliminate many of the careless accident-prone drivers, and decrease the number of motor vehicle injuries and deaths.
Courtney from Study Moose
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