We make a big deal about how dangerous teenagers are behind the wheel. That’s why their car insurance rates are so high. There are even entire ad campaigns that touch on how those silly risk-taking teenagers are on your roads, and you should be very scared of them. But are teenagers nearly as dangerous as the elderly? We’ve got five videos that argue otherwise.
First off, there’s this news report, about a state senator trying, after a 94-year-old man accidentally killed his wife in an accident, to get elderly drivers retested. Needless to say, the measure is controversial, but the footage of the accident is fairly terrifying. Driver retesting above a certain age is strongly opposed by the elderly because many of them need their cars to grocery shop and otherwise get around, especially in areas with few public transit systems. However, elderly drivers do tend to agree that retesting to some degree might be beneficial.
Before we get to the more dramatic examples, this video is a good illustration of the problems elderly drivers can create; not to mention why their fatality rate is well above that of teenagers, and continues to go up the older they get. This gentleman simply can’t stay in his lane, and doesn’t seem to notice the motorcyclist right next to him, with a blaring motor to boot. This is problematic for the cyclist as, if he had no room to maneuver, he would have been struck by the vehicle.
One of the biggest problems for the elderly seems to be handling a shifter. This woman reported to a Florida testing facility to be recertified for her license. According to her, the car had a sudden unexpected surge of power. According to everyone else, she stepped on the gas with the car set in Drive, not Reverse, and thus caused all the damage you see here on video.
Needless to say, she was not recertified.
To illustrate why, precisely, this can be a severe problem, look no further than this video. Thankfully, it ended with no fatalities. Granted, we’ve all mistaken our shifting for drive when it’s really in reverse, but what makes this video so disturbing is that the elderly driver simply didn’t have the reaction time to fix his mistake before he struck the car behind him. Before you ask, we’re not sure if he fought the ticket in court. But we would imagine he probably just paid it quietly.
Finally, there’s this video from Philadelphia that illustrates just how dangerous not being able to read a sign really is. This woman was simply driving to her dentist and completely misread the signs, which resulted in her driving the wrong way down I-95, causing four accidents and starting the debate about retesting seniors yet again.
If you have a senior driver in your family, be sure to assess his or her abilities and the decisions made on the road. Or, if a senior driver in your family has had several accidents, consider broaching the subject of giving up the keys for good. You could save a life, as well as the lives of others.