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to think that driving ability should be re-tested at some point in old age?

(143 Posts)
var123 Fri 12-Feb-16 19:39:06

just that really.

Even if it turns out that the woman involved in this case was generally fit to drive, there have been other accidents when you hear it was an 80+ person at the wheel driving up the wrong side of the motorway or something.

I know other drivers can be dangerous too, but in their case, its more usually that they are choosing not to drive safely at that moment than they can't, so its harder to test for.

RandomMess Fri 12-Feb-16 19:43:15

TBH I think we should all be retested every five years!!

MrsH1989 Fri 12-Feb-16 19:46:06

Absolutely! I have many personal experiences that support this too!
1. My friends Nan was driving at 70 even though she was blind in one eye and if someone had checked would have probably been banned.
2.Last week I was caught in a cue of people in the middle lane of the motorway suddenly breaking. Turned out to be an old couple driving at 50 mph in the middle lane.
3.My Dh's car was driven into whilst sat stationary outside his Mum's house. The driver was an elderly man who had hired the van. The guy that owned the rental said he had a feeling when he handed over the keys that he would cause some sort of incident.
These are just a few of the top of my head cue the swarms of people saying I too ABU

ZombiesAteMyBaby Fri 12-Feb-16 19:50:28

I agree!

Although to be fair to the driver that junction is absolute fucking nightmare at school pick up time. Cars abandoned in the middle of the road, cars trying to get through from both directions, cars parked on both sides of the road making it narrower, coaches double parked across cars, kids and adults dodging cars as they cross the road. We go through the junction twice a day on the school run and it's awful.

I hope the girls are ok though. sad

Muskateersmummy Fri 12-Feb-16 19:51:44

Personally I think we should all be reassessed regularly. Like every 5 years or something. We get bad habits, we get lazy. Things change. Skills get lost, we get complacent. Wouldn't hurt us all to have to do a competency check

SoftBlocks Fri 12-Feb-16 19:52:16

YANBU. Not just old people though. I agree with RandomMess There are a lot of people on the roads who aren't fit to drive for various reasons. Everyone should be retested every five years. It might be hugely expensive and a pain in the arse but it would save lives.

CPtart Fri 12-Feb-16 20:06:12

YANBU. My grandma was still driving well into her 80's. She hit two parked cars in a car park and not realising drove away. She hadn't a a clue what the police were talking about when they came knocking.

Quoteunquote Fri 12-Feb-16 20:10:50

I think that we should all be retested every five years,

But I also think that if you get any points on your licence you should have to take your test again.

The culture of shit driving is unacceptable.

Sirzy Fri 12-Feb-16 20:13:06

I agree that everyone should be regularly retested, it is so easy to become complacent when driving and bad habits set in

scarlets Fri 12-Feb-16 20:13:14

Oh wow, I hope those girls will be ok. Reminds me of the incident at Costa on Christmas Eve. I saw an old man's car career into a wall a few months ago, he'd lost control, narrowly missed a pedestrian.

I know elderly people who are competent drivers, but I've also known too many old people over the years who've refused to be sensible and give up their licence when it's clearly time. I understand their reasons, it must be demoralising to give up driving, and in rural areas it's inconvenient, but if a significant proportion of these people won't self-regulate, they all need to be assessed.

var123 Fri 12-Feb-16 20:16:27

DM still drives - she's in her 70s. I know its a lifeline for her but she drives like she is so dangerous I won't let her take the DC, no matter how convenient it would be.
The last time I was in the car with her, she mounted the pavement at a corner and bumped down at the other side without even making any sign that she'd noticed.
Much as she needs it, she is a danger to herself and everyone else on the road. She would never stop just because I told her this though - she'd need to fail a test and be banned.

Lurkedforever1 Fri 12-Feb-16 20:20:26

Yanbu. Firstly because driving today can be very different to the minimum traffic of someone who passed a test 60yrs ago. Secondly dementia and fear of losing independence can make someone carry on driving when they aren't fit to.

ijustwannadance Fri 12-Feb-16 20:24:15

Yep was stuck behind a very elderly lady driver today. No way to overtake. She was driving at 20 mph on 30mph roads. Huge queue behind.
Anyone who drives at only 50mph on a clear motorway should be fined/banned.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 12-Feb-16 20:25:59

No, not if you look at road accident statistics

Young people under 25 are involved in 85% of accidents

People over 70 is about 3%

Gattabianca Fri 12-Feb-16 20:27:46

Today I, with my son in the back were nearly hit head on by a very elderly (looking) driver going round the wrong way on a large (3 lane) roundabout.
But I'm sure lots of people will soon be telling you YABU and agist.

Mari50 Fri 12-Feb-16 20:31:01

I meet people very regularly who are in no way capable of being in charge of a car yet adamantly resist any suggestion to the contrary claiming to 'only drive locally' to which I always reply 'so you'd rather run down someone you know. . .'
It's terrifying the lack of insight people can have.

LalaLyra Fri 12-Feb-16 20:33:50

I think everyone should be retested either randomly or every so many years. I also think that learning to drive/passing test should have some sort of hours added to it. There's a woman across the road from me who is fucking lethal if it's wet. If it'd been raining the day she took her test there's no way she'd have passed. She drives the same all the time - speed, distances etc - no matter what the weather or road conditions. She's been in four accidents in five years and every single one has involved her hitting the back of someone. How she hasn't been prosecuted or banned I don't know (well I do - three of them she had the cars fixed by her husband at his garage rather than putting them through insurances so she gets away with it).

She's going to kill someone one day.

LalaLyra Fri 12-Feb-16 20:34:23

I should say the woman is only in her 50's so my rant was a bit off topic. Sorry.

JenEric Fri 12-Feb-16 20:34:55

I suspect statistics are skewed because elderly people are more likely to drive slower and thus have small bumps that may not be reported.

dejarderoncar Fri 12-Feb-16 20:35:33

I live in Spain and when I reached 70 I had to re apply for my driving licence and take a kind of general fitness test, i.e. reaction times, eye sight and hearing, and get a certificate from my GP re health issues etc, but was not tested on the road. I thought the same rules applied throughout the EU.
For various health reasons I have to re apply again in two years.

By the way, talking of old women driving at 50 in the middle lane, I have (I am ashamed to say) just paid (my second) 50 euro speeding fine.

tiggytape Fri 12-Feb-16 20:35:44

YANBU - I know people will come on to say that statistically young males are the biggest menace but in fact, when you factor in that elderly drivers tend to drive far fewer miles, their accident rate for the distances they travel is worrying.

And it isn't rectifiable or something that will improve with maturity and experience or by making better choices. It will only get worse because eyesight fails slowly and isn't always noticed until it is very bad, reaction times slow, roads just get busier and busier and the population gets older and older.
Maybe a few octogenarians on the road can be accommodated by other people around them being on the ball but when there are far more of them, that cannot happen. And of course the self certification system makes no allowance for the fact that many elderly drivers don't know they are dangerous or wont accept it and lose their independence.

Obviously I have no idea of the specific details of this case so am only speaking generally but I know a lot of people my age have real concerns about their elderly parents' safety on the road (eg a lot of friends refuse to allow their children to travel in the grandparents' car as the grandparents are just so dangerous and so oblivious when driving yet think they're fine or refuse to discuss it).

Longdistance Fri 12-Feb-16 20:37:58

Yes, yes, and yes. My df was driving and used to drive his car like a dodgem, scraping it against walls/posts etc. He's given up driving thank god

In the town I work in, a lady ran a man over just walking by on the pavement and killed him sad so sad.

I'm all for it quite frankly!

SaucyJack Fri 12-Feb-16 20:38:29

One way to do it would be to introduce/tighten up laws banning people with certain medical conditions from driving.

My Grandad is deaf and has diagnosed dementia- still perfectly legal for him to drive.

Reporting of conditions such as dementia needs to be a legal requirement- not just at the consultant's discretion.

Nottodaythankyouorever Fri 12-Feb-16 20:38:43

YANBU to think people should be retested YABU you restrict it to the elderly.

There has been a case here recently of two children that were killed by a hit and run. Driver was in his 30s.

Another was on the news this week of an elderly lady and gentlemen and their grandchildren being killed in an accident caused by someone in their 20s.

stayathomegardener Fri 12-Feb-16 20:40:03

It is difficult, my 82 year old DM who has dementia and uncontrolled (undiagnosed at that point) epilepsy, was a total danger on the road, not least because she would have a drink and then forget and drive.
DSis and I battled to make the DVLA retest her via the GP for 2 years and then she passed the blooming test two years running!
She could hold it together almost for that short period in a particular area but was not safe day to day.
Thank goodness she failed the last test... Massive relief.

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