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Too Old To Drive Essay

1096 words - 5 pages

It is a well known fact that when you get older, you are more likely to experience certain health problems. With age comes many different diseases and illnesses that range from Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s. So why do people not bat an eye when they see elderly people behind the wheel? Has society come to terms with the fact that if you can pass your drivers license test at any age, you can continue to drive efficiently and safely the rest of your life? While there still are many elderly people who can drive effectively at their old age, the risk of allowing all senior citizens to drive is far too great. In order to ensure the safety of everyone on the streets, anyone over the age of 65 should ...view middle of the document...

Specifically however, elderly people have a very tough time with tasks that involve switching or dividing attention among different stimuli or tasks. Since the elderly having harding time paying attention to separate tasks, their driving abilities are significantly hindered. With attention having to be focused on driving, reacting to the surrounding environment, and sorting out relevant information senior citizens have a lot to think about while driving, and can’t put their attention on each event, Visual and hearing loss are also key components of deterioration of motor skills, and are also pivotal traits concerned with driving safety. Some main components of vision that are weakening in elderly people may include loss of depth perception, peripheral vision, and color perception. Depth perception is a very important skill because it allows people to know when to brake, when to accelerate, and when it is safe to switch lanes. If depth perception is thwarted, then it may result in a higher collision rate due to not being able to tell how close other cars or environmental factors are. Peripheral vision is another factor which would cause more vehicle related accidents because the driver may be unaware of any pedestrians or other cars in his surrounding area. Color perception is also a very important trait that is receding in the elderly which can cause people to not notice the difference between traffic lights and could cause people to run red lights which could cause catastrophic collisions. While many of these issues are caused by general aging, a lot of these problems are also associated with illnesses acquired.
Senior citizens have a higher chance of gaining many debilitating conditions and diseases that greatly impair their ability to drive safely. One condition that lessens senior citizens’ ability to drive is arthritis. Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more of your joints in your body. Arthritis can cause pain and stiffness, which gets worse as you age. Quick and fluid motions are harder to make with arthritis which makes drivers less maneuverable on the road. Another condition that significantly affects driving skills are cataracts. Cataracts are classified as a clouding in the lens that affects vision....

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