Other countries and places around the world are noticing the problem. In Japan the percent of car accidents caused by elderly almost doubled last year. Japan decided to actually do something about it. The Japanese government is forcing elders above 75 to take a cognitive test while renewing their license. In this past year it has caused 15,000 licenses to be revoked. That could have saved over 15,000 lives. They are now offering rewards to seniors who give up their licenses. They will receive a free year of subway access and discount to stores along the subway. In return this will cause many accidents to be avoided. Japan's elderly population is going to nearly double in the next couple of decades. They are taking the steps now planning for the future. This is important because it shows that other places have addressed the problem and it helps. If we start addressing the problem now we can save lives.
Stephen Petrew shares his story about how his 80 year old frail mother would not give up driving. She bought a new car and by a couple weeks it already had a bunch of dents and scratches on it. She kept making excused on why the car would get dent. She even got cataract surgery on her eyes so she could drive better. It did not matter she was still getting into accidents. One day his mother reversed the car into the neighbors parked car. She did not take the blame and even put the blame on the neighbor. He turned his mother into the state for her bad driving because he was so scared for her and for the others around her. The DMV required his mother to take a written and a driving test. She failed the driving test badly. This women is not an outlier. She just got caught because her children care. This woman is like many others and this is a huge problem. This is important information because it shows us that elders do not think they are bad drivers even when they are. The ignorance is going to kill people.
Even the National Institute on Aging says that older people are guaranteed to have a slower reaction to things. Your eyesight gets worse, your hearing gets worse, your muscles don't work like they used to. They even recommend having your driving tips checked by a professional or taking a driving course. This should be a requirement. Here are some of the questions elderly should ask themselves: Do other drivers often honk at me? Have I had some accidents, even if they were only "fender benders"? Do I get lost, even on roads I know? Do cars or people walking seem to appear out of nowhere? Do I get distracted while driving? Have family, friends, or my doctor said they're worried about my driving? Am I driving less these days because I'm not as sure about my driving as I used to be? Do I have trouble staying in my lane? Do I have trouble moving my foot between the gas and the brake pedals, or do I sometimes confuse the two? Have I been pulled over by a police officer about my driving? I believe that if you answered yes to a couple of these questions you should not be driving. You can't be selfish. This is important to my paper because it shows the signs of being a bad driver and the dangers.
"You always hear about teenage (driver) risks being so incredibly high, but to me the amazing thing is there are two clusters you really have to focus on"--teens and elderly drivers, says Paul Fischbeck of the Center for the Study and Improvement of Regulation at Carnegie Mellon. Elderly people have many health issues that makes them impaired. People who have a hard time walking outside of the house have no business driving on the road. Many elderly people renew their licenses online. They need to change this so they can actually come in and renew their license in person. Around 600,000 drivers age 70 and older decide to give up driving each year, according to a 2002 study published in the American Journal of Public Health. But there are other options for elderly to get around. "She came across the Independent Transportation Network (ITN), which began in Portland in 1995. It brings together volunteer drivers, donated cars and computerized scheduling to give rides for about $8. " This information is important because it shows the alternatives to elderly driving. There are a bunch of other options that older people could take and I am definitely going to use that as one of my points.
In this day and age there are so many instances where elderly people cause car crashes and don't even realize it. "86-year-old Margaret Lazor maneuvered her Buick Century station wagon through suburban Philadelphia, pulled onto the exit ramp of I-95, and drove in the wrong direction nearly a dozen miles in the passing lane, waving off a driver who tried to catch her attention. Cars swerved out of her way. Four drivers crashed, fortunately none of them fatally." This shows us how oblivious and scary of drivers elderly can become. When you become older things start to change and your mind starts to change. We don't let seven year olds take a drive on the highway. Many of these instances occur "Jan. 18, 2011, a 91-year-old man drove seven miles the wrong way on I-95 in Maine. Three days later, an 87-year-old woman, also a Maine resident, repeated the mistake." The number of elderly people in America is expected to be doubled in 2050. The chances of a car crash happening becomes more likely after someone reaches the age of 60. By the time they are 80 the chances of them getting into a car crash the danger is double those of a new driving teenager. We always hear the stereotype that teenagers are the worst drivers and should not be trusted on the road. Now think about the facts and how we are so blindsided. This is important source because it gave many examples of elderly people causes car accidents. It is such a frequent thing.