When is too old to drive?

Essay by VkaszaHigh School, 12th gradeA+, December 2004

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When is it Too Old to Drive?

Have you ever been driving down the road and had to swerve out of the way or suddenly had to slam on the brakes due to a clueless driver? Most drivers have had a close call with another car, a person walking, or an object while driving. But when does one know when these situations are cause for concern? Although senior citizens are safe drivers, recent statistics concur that older drivers are far more likely to get into multiple-vehicle accidents than any other age group, except teenagers (Safe Senior Citizen Driving para1).

Today, Americans are living longer due to healthier lifestyle, increased exercise, greater awareness of nutrition, and medical intervention (Caldwell para 1). Statistics show that if an individual is 65 today, the possibility of that individual reaching to see age 90 is very high. The American population is increasingly getting older, in the next 20 years the Census Bureau predicts the population over the age of 65 will increase by 60 percent.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are more than 22 million licensed drivers 65 or older (Woolston para2). This number will dramatically soar as the Baby Boom generation matures. By 2020, the number will nearly double, to more than 40 million. Age alone doesn't cause someone to be a harmful driver, but numerous older people put themselves and others at risk everytime they get behind the steering wheel. Studies done by the American Geriatric Society conclude that driving skills tend to diminish after the age of 75 and as early as age 60. Recent study performed by the Journal of Gerontology found that the number of harmful crashes, driver fatalities, and pedestrian fatalities per mile traveled increases dramatically once a driver reaches the age of 65...