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Opening Arguments

Old driving habits

An Indianapolis woman has a wild ride:

IFD says Feeney was leaving a hair salon when she veered back towards the salon building, shearing the gas meter and striking the building. From that point, Feeney drove through a bush, hit a fence, turned her car and hit four cars on her way out of the parking lot.

Feeney then drove across Ferguson Ave. and struck DEA Inc., an architecture firm across the street. According to the report, Feeney backed up but went forward, hitting the house for a second time and striking two additional vehicles on Ferguson.

No, she wasn't drunk -- she was driving while 80. Unless we hear otherwise (the story doesn't say), it's reasonable to assume age was a factor in the accident. But older drivers are less dangerous on the road than many people believe. There are several studies, for example, showing they are only slightly more likely than the average driver to cause an accident but much more likely to die in one.

It makes sense to test older drivers more often. Indiana's renewal cycle is four years for most drivers but three years for those 75 and older, which seems not responsive enough to the realities of aging. Iowa has a normal five-year cycle, two years for drivers 70 and older, which seems more realistic. Nearly half the states have no age-related license procedures at all.

Posted in: Hoosier lore


Bob G.
Thu, 02/05/2009 - 10:36am

One thing that's hard to do is "give up" that priviledge as one ages...
Losing that vestige of independence to many seniors is akin to settling in for "that long dirt nap".

But one thing should be pointed out:
Seniors do not need the speed and horsepower that most ALL of today's vehicles offer. That alone would solve a lot of problems like the one in your post.

After all, (on the other side of the coin) when was the last time you followed a senior in a block-long land-yacht that was going 10 MPH in a 35 MPH zone?

With the loss of hand-eye coordination and vision, and yes, even confidence (as we ALL get older), wouldn't having a less powerful vehicle under these seniors make some sense?
No one is 22 forever, right?
(not even US...right, Leo?)
(We became perpetually 39 when we hit 40, anyway)


tim zank
Thu, 02/05/2009 - 11:08am

One would hope, our new "re-founding fathers" would simply form a new governmental agency and task force on elderly drivers,(there's still plenty of room in the stimulus bill) to directly confront this enormous, heinous, and wholly ignored plague upon our safety.

I think a few billion to build cars that won't start if your over 70, and a few billion to create a new agency to perform complete physicals on everyone over the age of 70, and a few billion to make "stationary" objects become "un-stationary" in the event anyone over 70 is with in 500 feet of them, a few billion to centrally relocate beauty salons for the elderly in one location sans "stationary objects" , and of course a few billion to study the crippling effects on the economy suffered by those stuck behind senior citizens on two lane roads.

I'm sure there is more that can and should be done by the government, after all we've let this go on long enough haven't we? People need to wake up and realize without the proper legislation in place, we'll simply never be able to reach our governmental goal of protecting every American from every thing.

It's positively an outrage that Americans are dying of anything in this day and age when we have a government so ready, willing and able to help!