All - Elderly drivers - dan86

Taken from the BBC

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-41900744

I dontveish to start an argument about should older people be band or retested ect but this isn't the first time someone has mistaken the accelerator for the break.

What are Backroomers opinions on tragic incidents like this?

All - Elderly drivers - oldroverboy.

Personally, I have my eyes tested by a proper independant Optician every year, but mt sight is checked every 3 months or so when I go in for my eye injections for wet macular degeneration.

All - Elderly drivers - badbusdriver

I feel that there should be progressive assessments made on all drivers, and not just ones past a certain age. I'm sure all of us have witnessed driving standards ranging from just incompetent to downright dangerous in drivers of all ages, so it certainly isn't just the aged. Maybe every 10 years, have a sort of 'mini driving test' which could include reaction to stressful situations recreated on a simulator, checking eyesight etc. Also a thorough update on Doctor's (and other health professionals) obligation and right to inform the dvla if they feel a patient is potentially a danger on the road, which would then require an immediate assessment.

All - Elderly drivers - gordonbennet

Be careful what you wish for, whatever that may be.

The country is vastly overpopulated without a thought for infrastructure to cope and as a result the roads are heading rapidly to gridlock, hence the knee jerk smart motorway temporary sticking plaster, our govts would like nothing better than to have a justifiable way of removing whole sections of motorists who arn't productive (for want of a better word) any more.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if older drivers arn't the next target for demonisation, following on from phones and Diesel, look how well indoctrination works, they've made some headway already by older people apparently having better job prospects pensions housing opportunities and to top it all the demon oldies voted Brexit.

All - Elderly drivers - Wackyracer

Having watched the "100 year old driving school" series a while back I find it frightening that some of them are still allowed to drive and I'm not picking on the elderly here. The woman with the Mini was very good and she was over 100 and a few others were good but, there were many that I felt shouldn't be allowed to continue having displayed the kind of driving they did on the show.

All - Elderly drivers - nellyjak

Having watched the "100 year old driving school" series a while back I find it frightening that some of them are still allowed to drive and I'm not picking on the elderly here. The woman with the Mini was very good and she was over 100 and a few others were good but, there were many that I felt shouldn't be allowed to continue having displayed the kind of driving they did on the show.

Couldn't agree more..I was frankly astonished that the so called "expert" thought their driving was at an acceptable level...I wouldn't have wanted to sit with any of them.!

AND, I say that as a driver of over 50 years experience....I'm still "switched on" and at one period in my driving life was doing 30/40k miles each year for many years.

One of the best course I was ever sent on was a defensive driving course..well worth it.

I have my yearly health and eye checks of course and I feel good..and certainly my wife would be very quick to tell me if she didn't feel comfortable with my driving..and she is 16 years younger than me.!

So I reckon I've got it covered but I hope that I will know when it's eventually time to say "enough".

I don't think that age plays a big part until you get much, much older..and I see enough dumb driving from ALL age ranges..usually awareness issues or inappropriate speed.

For some peeps their cars seem to be a sensory deprivation device..believing in their own guaranteed safety inside their metal container..wrong.!

All - Elderly drivers - argybargy

I wonder what the comparative stats are for road deaths/ injuries caused by drunk drivers, young drivers and elderly drivers?

Totally unscientific and unresearched, but I'd imagine that old people probably kill fewer fellow road users than the other categories mentioned.

So whilst cases like this are tragic, I really don't see any need right now for further legislation to keep the poor old gribblies off the road.

They can be a damned nuisance when you're tootling along behind some old fogey in a flat cap at 25 in a 30 zone, but they never wind me up the way some of the other maniacs do.

Possibly because I'll be a gribbly myself in a few years time, and increasingly sympathetic to their plight.

All - Elderly drivers - Steveieb

I have a theory about this.

You see so many elderly drivers earing aviator spectacles they must have purchased in the sixties.Perhaps they are frightened that they will be reported to the DVLA if they failn an eyesight test.

My neighbour aged 80 failed an eye test and offered to pay the optician for 6 more tests to see if he could get a pass.

He was also persuaded to convert to automatic by his daughter which resulted in him demolishing my garden wall when he got confused with the brake and throttle.

All - Elderly drivers - gordonbennet
He was also persuaded to convert to automatic by his daughter which resulted in him demolishing my garden wall when he got confused with the brake and throttle.

Thats half the trouble, a lifetime changing gears then in your dotage trying to learn a modern automatic, especially one of the semi automated or multi clutched horrors.

And just to help, having driven cars with probably good vision all round for years then being persuaded into some fashion statement with port holes for windows and massive A and C pillars blocking whatever view was left.

All - Elderly drivers - argybargy
He was also persuaded to convert to automatic by his daughter which resulted in him demolishing my garden wall when he got confused with the brake and throttle.

Thats half the trouble, a lifetime changing gears then in your dotage trying to learn a modern automatic, especially one of the semi automated or multi clutched horrors.

And just to help, having driven cars with probably good vision all round for years then being persuaded into some fashion statement with port holes for windows and massive A and C pillars blocking whatever view was left.

Thats a good point. Where we live there are a number of junctions where your vision to the left is restricted due to the angle you have to assume when waiting at a give way sign. You're partially turned to the right and looking over your left shoulder towards the rear window.

My B Max has a very handy feature, being big sliding doors at the rear, but combine the position of the passenger seat headrest with the trim between the frront and rear windows and its hellish hard to see traffic coming when the car is at the required angle.

How an older person in such a car manages without just taking a chance and going for it, Lord Knows.

Edited by argybargy on 08/11/2017 at 10:08

All - Elderly drivers - Engineer Andy

I agree that we, as a society should 'go after' all older drivers in some kind of 'witch hunt' (there is already more than enough of that going on at the moment in other spheres), however there have been a good number of well-documented cases (quite a few of which I and friends/family have come across a lot over the years) of older drivers who are just not capable of being safe drivers (not just driving a bit slow), such as those who:

  1. Have a lack of awareness of other road users and pedestrians, frequently causing near-misses leading up to the inevitable major incident, especially in busy periods, at night and/or in poor weather. This includes driving at well below normal speeds (adjusting for conditions) and erratically (often causing others to have accidents);
  2. Are obviously confused at how roads are laid out and the meaning of many signs and other road furniture. The number of cases (often resulting in fatal accidents) of such drivers turning down the exit slip of a motorway or dual carriageway and travelling the wrong way down these roads for several miles, despite passing many vehicles going the other way and/or even having Police cars right behind them (see previous point) with their sirens and flashing lights on. A good number of older drivers also get very flustered driving in the busy modern world and often retreat into going really slow (understandable) but can also cause many minor dings because they cannot cope with multi-tasking when driving (I'm not talking about using a phone either).

I understand that many young and inexperienced (and reckless) drivers are almost certainly the cause of most serious accidents, but normally most people improve their driving skills after the first 5-10 years of driving (this doesn't make them 'good drivers', just better than they were after [somehow] passing their test), whereas declining physical and mental health of older people will reduce their skills as well as reactions, though undeniably at varying rates and starting at different times in life.

I would advocate everyone being re-tested every 10 years, including having a medical to determine if there are any deficiancies, reducing to every 5 years at 65 and then every year following 75 or after any illness that would have a serious affect (even if temporarily) on driving ability for at least the next 5 years, unless (only if under 65) it can be proven that the affliction has been permanently resolved.

Just some initial thoughts.

All - Elderly drivers - Andrew-T

<< 2. Are obviously confused at how roads are laid out and the meaning of many signs and other road furniture. >>

I'm not surprised if there is a lot of confusion about - some roads are littered with so much 'furniture' that if one spends time examining it all, one is unable to concentrate fully on the driving. On top of that, many signs are now partially obscured by lichen or foliage because of councils cutting back in the wrong areas.

All - Elderly drivers - gordonbennet

On top of that, many signs are now partially obscured by lichen or foliage because of councils cutting back in the wrong areas.

or even failing to cut back..:-))

I agree about the foliage and excess furniture signage etc, and what never ceases to amaze me is among the numerous signs found on some of our now ridiculously complicated junctions, how often as a stranger do you find that the lane you need to be in is only indicated on a single arrow painted on the road, about as much use as a typical local authority chocolate teapot when traffic is already queueing for the junction and you only find 4 car's length from the junction itself that you're on completely the wrong lane.

12 signs and not one actually helping traffic to find its way and flow, oh and chuck a filling station and bus stop just before with two sections of keep clear and a box junction on the lights themselves for the full joy experience.

All - Elderly drivers - Engineer Andy

<< 2. Are obviously confused at how roads are laid out and the meaning of many signs and other road furniture. >>

I'm not surprised if there is a lot of confusion about - some roads are littered with so much 'furniture' that if one spends time examining it all, one is unable to concentrate fully on the driving. On top of that, many signs are now partially obscured by lichen or foliage because of councils cutting back in the wrong areas.

To a degree under normal conditions (I most certainly agree that the current 'elf n safety' culture has gone too far in this respect), but most serious accidents involving 'confusion' seem to me to involve elderly drivers mistaking the exit slip of a motorway or dual carriageway for the entrey slip or different road - I mean, other than (a very small number of) criminals doing so deliberately to avoid the Police in a chase, how often do you hear of young and middle aged people (even at night, when instances are most likely to happen) doing this?

All - Elderly drivers - barney100

A local roundabout has been 'improved' partly by traffic lights and three lanes to choose from. The traffic light Grand Prix has vehicles entering the roundabout from 2 lanes and then having to get into the right one of three. Of course those who have got it wrong correct their error by all manner of cutting in resulting in blaring horns, an imaginative selection of gestures and near misses...chaos.

All - Elderly drivers - Wackyracer

Having watched the "100 year old driving school" series a while back I find it frightening that some of them are still allowed to drive and I'm not picking on the elderly here. The woman with the Mini was very good and she was over 100 and a few others were good but, there were many that I felt shouldn't be allowed to continue having displayed the kind of driving they did on the show.

Couldn't agree more..I was frankly astonished that the so called "expert" thought their driving was at an acceptable level...I wouldn't have wanted to sit with any of them.!

I think if the driving assessors had to intervene (which at least a couple of them did to prevent an accident) then the person should be deemed unsafe to drive. The school teacher who tried to treat the assessor like a naughty school boy would have hit the parked car if he hadn't grabbed the wheel and likewise for the tank commander who was driving far too fast and erratic.

All - Elderly drivers - Smileyman

Prisons are over full already and nothing would be acheived by swelling the ranks with one old man. Also with the level of remorse and cessation to drive the right decision has been made. (Society does not need further protection and rehabilitaton is not required) - yes it's tough on the family of deceased but I cannot see any sensible alternative options.

All - Elderly drivers - thecloser

I don't wish to get all ageist about this but the OP is inferring criticism (probably justified) of the gentleman who clearly made a big mistake which had very tragic consequences. I also realise that we are recommended by the moderators not to get too hung up about spelling and grammar when posting, but one sentence in the original post:

"I dontveish to start an argument about should older people be band or retested ect but this isn't the first time someone has mistaken the accelerator for the break."

contains at least 4 errors. We all make mistakes, some of which may be age related, but when inferring crticism of the actions of someone else it is surely not unreasonable to ensure that the criticism is couched in decent english. Maybe the OP is getting on a bit himself?

All - Elderly drivers - gordonbennet

If the worse thing the OP does is makes a typo or an error in grammar, then compared to the mistake that is the subject of the thread, costing the lives of two people, it's probably not quite in the same league.

I had no trouble understanding the OP's post, i won't faint if i spot a speeling error :-) and i won't faint if i make a few of my own as i do frequently, and as i get ever or even older no doubt there will be worse to come.

All - Elderly drivers - dan86

Is being dyslexic not allowed on this forum? if so i shall no longer be a member and my age has nothing to do with it. I was just simply asking other peoples opinions not runing over innocent bystanders.

All - Elderly drivers - Engineer Andy

Is being dyslexic not allowed on this forum? if so i shall no longer be a member and my age has nothing to do with it. I was just simply asking other peoples opinions not runing over innocent bystanders.

Not to worry - I think thecloser (newer memeber perhaps?) hasn't yet read the thread on Spelling and Grammar - let's not get excited' on:

www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=87984

I think that the odd nistake (!), especially when using a tablet or mobile phone (predictive text - ahhh!!!) is perfrectly understandable (especially as the website doesn't have a built-in autocorrect feature as you type, or at least it doesn't when I access it via Firefox), though I do get a little peed off when someone makes no effort at all to make their post comprehensible, which certainly wasn't the case here. At least the bad spellers here (including me) can use the Edit function if we're not in too much of a hurry if we spot a mistake, something dyslexics may not be able to spot so easily.

I understand your difficulties if you are dyslexic as it must be a real pain to keep have to explain this (especially if the person isn't just a one-off poster and is a regular) to avoid people making such comments as this other person has done - maybe you need a little emocon like the ;-) to indicate to other posters to avoid this, although this may not be always a good thing to 'label' people because of some affliction.

All - Elderly drivers - dan86

Thanks and to be perfectly honest I wasn't offended (I've got thick skin) and you're right part of the problem is using a phone (and fat fingers)

All - Elderly drivers - Ethan Edwards

Consider the statistics. More and bigger accidents caused by younger drivers NOT older drivers. Maybe keep the wrinklies and raise the legal driving age to 48.

Sound fair to you lot?

My view is that there are always people trying to divide and conquer us motorists.

Why make life easy for them?

Edited by Ethan Edwards on 08/11/2017 at 21:28

All - Elderly drivers - Andrew-T

Is being dyslexic not allowed on this forum?

I think even a dyslexic person might have noticed the errors and tried to correct them if he/she had checked before posting. Sadly that was not something the elderly gent could do after making his mistake.

All - Elderly drivers - FP

"...the OP is inferring criticism..." "...when inferring crticism (sic) of the actions of someone else..."

As you have chosen to criticise another poster for his English, I feel I should be permitted to point out that the word you should use is "implying", not "inferring".

I do this merely to illustrate the kind of situation we get into if we seize on others' mistakes.

Edited by FP on 08/11/2017 at 23:24

All - Elderly drivers - Avant

"Is being dyslexic not allowed on this forum? if so i shall no longer be a member and my age has nothing to do with it. I was just simply asking other peoples opinions not runing over innocent bystanders."

Just to confirm, Dan, that of course people with dyslexia have as much right to express their opinions on here as anyone else. It was mainly with them in mind that I first put up the 'let's not get excited' thread.

The only people whose right we restrict are spammers and those who are gratuitously offensive.

All - Elderly drivers - argybargy

Deleted post.

Edited by argybargy on 09/11/2017 at 10:25

All - Elderly drivers - expat

If you want an authoritative and independent opinion on the abilities of drivers of different ages then you should look at insurance premiums. I think you will find that they are highest for young drivers. Presumably that is a reflection on the number of claims.

All - Elderly drivers - thecloser

I seem to have opened up a veritable hornet's nest with my response to dan86's original post about the 90 year old man who reversed into and killed two ladies. In quoting a sentence from his post I was merely trying to illustrate the fact that we all make mistakes and that age is not necessarily always a factor. Upon reading my own post in the aftermath of the response of dan86 himself and many other contributors I realise that I could (and should) have worded my comments in a less critical way. I would, first of all, like to apologise unreservedly to dan86 for the implied criticism of his english.

In an obtuse way I have proved my own point by illustrating that most of us make mistakes in life (even when we are trying hard not to!). I don't even have the excuse of being a new 'member' of the forum to fall back on as suggested by Engineer Andy. I have been a reader of (and an infrequent contributor to) the Back Room since I first went online in the early noughties. I changed my 'nom-de-plume' to 'the closer' when I bought my present computer (can't remember what my original one was) and I actually quoted the moderators' recommendation about not getting too het up about spelling and grammar in my errant post.

I would take issue with FP (in a very minor way) in his criticism of my use of the word 'inferring'. My online dictionary lists 'inferring' as a version of 'implying'. Touche!

Once again dan86, my heartfelt apologies for any perceived insult.

PS I write as someone who is about to enter his 80th year.

All - Elderly drivers - Avant

Many thanks for that gracious reply.

You have a very permissive dictionary - one that takes the Oliver Kamm view (Times journalist and writer on grammar) that if something is done often enough it's probably OK. The risk of this view is that too much laissez-faire inevitably leads to a loss of clarity.

I have a classics degree (albeit nearly 50 years ago) so veer naturally towards the pedantic - in this case personally I'm with FP and think that the distinction between imply (give an impression) and infer (receive an impression) is quite straightforward and is worth preserving.

All - Elderly drivers - Andrew-T

You have a very permissive dictionary - one that takes the Oliver Kamm view (Times journalist and writer on grammar) that if something is done often enough it's probably OK.

Dead right about Oliver Kamm. He calls himself The Pedant, and I seem to recall that several years ago he was much more pedantic. Nowadays (as you say) if he can find a valid precedent then almost anything goes (as long as the meaning is clear), even if that precedent is three centuries old, when usage was very different. Now Oliver seems to concentrate on the nitty-gritty of pure grammar, which I suspect may bore many people.

I always take the view that people who use language clumsily or carelessly may do the same in their day jobs ?

Sorry for going off topic .... :-)

All - Elderly drivers - FP

Thecloser's reply was indeed most gracious and I hope my intervention was couched in terms as moderate as I could make them.

My background is that I am a long-retired teacher of English and, at the time I studied for my B.A., Latin was compulsory for the first year. I think I have a good eye for typos, given the amount of "proof-reading" I have done (also known as "marking"!) and also for grammatical solecisms.

However, I am very aware that language changes and that concepts of correctness are not absolute; even the Académie française, despite all its efforts to maintain the "purity" of the French language, constantly has to give ground to neologisms and foreign imports, especially when they are linked to cultural influences.

The same is happening with English, and I don't resist it, except where, as Avant says, clarity suffers.

Edited by FP on 09/11/2017 at 12:56

All - Elderly drivers - Andrew-T

I think you will find that they are highest for young drivers. Presumably that is a reflection on the number of claims.

And probably also on the size of the claims?

All - Elderly drivers - argybargy

Returning to the imply/ infer argument and the definition of words in general, especially when one is a tad unsure but wants to go ahead and use the word anyhow, I tend to use Humpty Dumpty as my yardstick.

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

Humpty, you're the man. Or rather, the Egg.

Edited by argybargy on 09/11/2017 at 18:08

All - Elderly drivers - barney100

Excellent point.

All - Elderly drivers - barney100

Not again...older drivers like younger ones vary in their ability. Generalisations about groups of peolpe are ridiculous.

All - Elderly drivers - Manatee

Probably a fair assumption that older drivers are not quite as quick to think and react; but experience and avoiding situations where that is critical can more than make up for that, at least while we have our marbles.

I know I could drive more quickly and confidently at 25. I believe I am a safer driver now (64). My insurance premium suggests that is the case.

All - Elderly drivers - Dogfuzz

If and when I have to disengage from a lifetime of driving-I hope it it will be because I ( and only me) will have decided that I cannot see, react or fully understand the mechanics of the vehicle I am attempting to control.

If I still have my marbles-I would have done my research into alternatives such as bus, rail, taxi availablilty and willing friends. Yes-I will have lost a little of my independence, but to not have to worry about car maintenance, parking, reading unreliable maps and listening to inaudible sat nav instructions might be a blessed relief.

All - Elderly drivers - Engineer Andy

If and when I have to disengage from a lifetime of driving-I hope it it will be because I ( and only me) will have decided that I cannot see, react or fully understand the mechanics of the vehicle I am attempting to control.

If I still have my marbles-I would have done my research into alternatives such as bus, rail, taxi availablilty and willing friends. Yes-I will have lost a little of my independence, but to not have to worry about car maintenance, parking, reading unreliable maps and listening to inaudible sat nav instructions might be a blessed relief.

Indeed - I feel really sorry for many elderly people who nowadays have to contend on newer cars with mobile phone/PC levels of compelexity in operating ICE functions, let alone sat nav (which is increasingly useful on our congested roads), as well as the ever reducing rear view from manufacturers use of 'porthole' rear windows and thick C pillars.

I suppose the problem comes when older people do get forgetful or really start to get dementia etc and don't realise they aren't up to driving any more, as has been documented on these pages more than once.

I think its good that you are already preparing for this as it certainly comes as less of a shock than someone you love telling you that you should stop driving because you can't see properly or are a danger to yourself, passengers and other road users, as from previous cases I've read about, people often get very defensive (even if they still have all their marbles) when told so, even in the gentlest terms by family, friends and/or their GP: not nice to be told effectively you are now effectively (to some at least) 'on the scrapheap' or 'in God's waiting room - next stop, nursing home...'

I'll need to talk with my parents about planning for this, as they're in their mid 70s now and may only have one change of car left before giving up driving. They do use the free bus service when they can, so that's a start at least, although my mum won't now drive on dual carriageways or motorways (she doesn't like using 5th gear+).

All - Elderly drivers - gordonbennet

I can't quite understand why many older drivers willingly put themselves in the frame for these horrible modern cars, as said port hole windows and stupid transmissions sometimes with an electric parking brake and hill hold plus all the other pointless carp so many modern cars have, when they've had a lifetime of perfecting the control of vehicles with a fraction of the grip and handling and braking power of the modern, the oldies don't need all this passive safety stuff to control the car for them, they managed to get about when we had proper winters and manual chokes/windows and unservoed drum brakes all round with the car sat on nearly bald cross plies.

I have no intention of buying the latest fashion accessory car when i get into me dotage, i'll make do happily with older cars or if i'm forced by the dictatorship of the moment to buy newer then as simple and basic as possible, there is always another way and an alternative, we do not have to follow the herd nor do as the appratchiks instruct.

All - Elderly drivers - Andrew-T

I can't quite understand why many older drivers willingly put themselves in the frame for these horrible modern cars, as said port hole windows and stupid transmissions ....

I'm just back from my regular 80-mile round trip to north Wales in my 1990 Pug 205. It's not the fastest on the road by any means (nor am I) but the panoramic vision makes any 21st-century tank feel truly claustrophobic.

All - Elderly drivers - gordonbennet

I'm just back from my regular 80-mile round trip to north Wales in my 1990 Pug 205. It's not the fastest on the road by any means (nor am I) but the panoramic vision makes any 21st-century tank feel truly claustrophobic.

Superb stuff Andrew-T, thats what i'm talking about, and still in PSA terms Berlingo would make a worthy contendor for someone wanting to avoid the faff of moderns.

All - Elderly drivers - RT

I can't quite understand why many older drivers willingly put themselves in the frame for these horrible modern cars, as said port hole windows and stupid transmissions ....

I'm just back from my regular 80-mile round trip to north Wales in my 1990 Pug 205. It's not the fastest on the road by any means (nor am I) but the panoramic vision makes any 21st-century tank feel truly claustrophobic.

Modern crossovers have reasonable visibility - and easier for many elderly to get in/out of.

I have a modern, large SUV - VW Touareg - and claustrophobic it isn't - did 560 miles in the day on my Scottish road trip and regularly do 300+ miles on a day out.

It's a proper slush-box so just select "D" and hit the loud pedal.

All - Elderly drivers - Tim Allcott

Went to a Regional Driving Assessment Centre today with my 84 year old Mother-in-Law. She had a stroke in early July. I was surprised to find that a stroke is not a DVLA notifiable condition providing there are no further symptoms for a month. Alzheimers, though, is. She had a CAT scan after the storke and early onset was diagnosed. An Occupational Therapist who visited suggested the R.D.A.C. assessment. Cost? £80, reduced to £40 if referred by a medical professional. I was allowed to observe the whole procedure (with M.I.L.'s agreement) It was very thorough. I'd been out for a practice session with her the day befoe (first time she'd driven since July, and thought she was "O.k." but their assessment was more thorough, and they knew what they were looking at. Conclusion? She should stop driving, and return her licence to D.V.L.A. Unfortunately her memory is such that she'll have forgotten she did the test by tomorrow, but they will write to her to confirm their instructions. A bit like a bereavement for her; she's been driving since she was 16, but at least it wasn't me/us who told her she had to stop. I'd recommend the process to anyone else with elderly relativeswhose driving they're not sure about. I've got her car keys...

All - Elderly drivers - RT

It can't be easy for anyone to know exactly the right point to give up - before that point it's too early and after that point the mind may not work well enough to assess correctly.

 

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