Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Age Is Just A Number- Just Like Braking Distances.

Yesterday I was in a crash on the A14, I was stationary in a line of traffic when someone went into the back of me at high speed writing off my car and his. No one was seriously hurt. The driver of the other vehicle somehow hadn't seen me until he was about 30 metres away despite it being a clear day on a straightish road, for reasons which soon became obvious.

He was born in 1921 and like most 92 year olds he could hardly see past the end of his car.

Had he seen me five metres later I could have been badly injured or killed which brings me to my point- people past a certain age should have to undergo medicals once in a while to make sure they are still physically capable of driving.

A ninety two year old might well have taken his test seventy five years ago- it is senseless for someone to be assumed to be competent in handling a powerful piece of machinery on the basis that they could control a much less powerful machine some time before World War 2.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Sorry to hear about your collision and yes, agreed. It's fair enough to say that people under the age of [random number between 15 and 25] are not 'mature' enough to drive and nobody bats an eyelid, why should it be any different at the other end? You get your free Travelcard and that is the end of that.

As a separate issue, how do you think he survived to the age of 92?

Ross said...

God knows. Perhaps Death gives him an extra year for every other driver he sends to the Grim Reaper.

Macheath said...

Glad you're OK.

Here's a confession; five years ago, I quietly sabotaged my uncle's car when it became clear he was no longer fit to drive.

As a former mechanic and test driver, he would never admit that his failing faculties were beginning to make him a serious danger on the road.

(This was after his his elder brother (at 91) was arrested for driving the wrong way down a dual carriageway.)

Anonymous said...

I thought pensioners had to be retested regularly? Eye tests certainly. I know my dad's doctor told him that he shouldn't drive anymore.

A K Haart said...

At least you are okay and the other guy will probably never drive again.
Small consolation I know.

If my father is any guide, some elderly people just don't know how poor their driving is.

Ross said...

Anon- I don't think they have to be retested.

Macheath- doing that must have been hard but it did potentially save lives including his.

AKH- Thanks, I hope you are right. Nobody wants to deprive elderly people of their independence but other road users safety is paramount.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Glad you are O.K.

I am "only" ( :-) ) 53, but after a stroke (small, but....) I gave up my driving authority voluntarily.

But then, I was expected to race about on a motor cycle with blues and twos. I just know I can not do that safely any more.

I know my limits, it is just a pitty that other people appear not to.

Peter Risdon said...

I've a feeling he wouldn't have had to take a test at all, back when he started to drive.

Glad you're OK though.

Anonymous said...

My uncle was told by his GP to stop driving when he reached 90.

Glad to hear you're OK (apart from the absolutely dreadful whiplash, of course).


Gerontius said...

Very unenlightened commentary !
Sorry about your prang, but how unfair to assume the other driver's age was the problem without an eye test. That driver had huge experience of driving, years of maturity and certainly no previous experience of drugs, listening to rock on the car radio, or other addiction to distraction so common in younger drivers. The knee-jerk blaming of drivers because of age is not good.

Gerontius said...

I read today in the West Briton of an inquest into the death of a 75 yr old lady killed in a car crash, the other car being driven by a young woman in her twenties who had had a domestic followed by a whole bottle of wine,
I bet the victim did not know what a domestic is.

Ross said...

FT- my mother a few years ago, gave up driving after a stroke too. Like you it was voluntary as the doctor said she was ok to drive despite everything.

Peter- I did actually check that, I think that he'd have needed to be three or four years older for that.

Laban- thanks. My lack of lasting whiplash is very disappointing, because I was looking forward to compensation.

Ross said...

Gerontius- His age is surely relevant. I don't think he could see clearly and people's senses often deteriorate with age.

In other words his eyesight is probably radically different to how it was when he was first deemed competent to drive a vehicle.

Anonymous said...

There were no driving tests back then, he deemed himself competent. Well done for not having whiplash. A fraudulent payout won't reimburse you for lack of honour.