FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
As snow and ice cover many of the nation's roadways, here's something to think about:
At what point should elderly drivers be taken off the road?
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America Online reports that elderly drivers now make up almost 20 percent of all motorists. And that number is growing as the Baby Boomers age. It's no surprise that one recent survey shows almost one in 10 adults are worried about an older family member driving.
Experts say the top thing is to understand the importance of mobility for the elderly. Driving gives them a huge sense of independence and autonomy.
They suggest if you're worried about a family member's driving, you should take a ride with them and watch. And then, if necessary, have a conversation about it - a sensitive topic, for sure.
Here are some things to look out for when a senior citizen gets behind the wheel:
Stopping in traffic for no reason, difficulty staying in the same lane, getting lost in familiar places, being easily distracted or irritated while driving, difficulty turning around to see when backing up, loss in confidence, other drivers often honking horns and scrapes or dents on the car or garage. Clues, one and all.
There is no specific age when the elderly have to stop driving. But there comes a point when they become a danger to themselves and others.
Many states have special requirements for senior citizens to renew their licenses. Sometimes they have to apply for a renewal more frequently. In some states, they need to retake road or vision tests or renew their license in person, instead of through the mail.
Here’s my question to you: Should the rules be tightened for senior citizens who drive?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Chris in Arlington, Virginia writes:
I believe the DMV should modify testing after 70... My father exhibits all the signs and denies all of them. He stops at green lights, goes 40 on the highway, constantly cuts people off, etc. And he just interviewed for a job delivering pizzas. Lord help us!
Betty in Wylie, Texas writes:
I think you and everyone else should leave the senior driving situation ALONE. Remember, you too will be a senior one day. As for me, I do not need for you or the government to tell me when to quit driving. In case you are not aware, most seniors are full of common sense and will know to put our keys away when the time is right.
John in Smithfield, Utah writes:
Absolutely, and I am 64 years old. It was virtually impossible to get my parents to stop driving even though they were accidents waiting to happen. In both cases, we had to take action with the State to get their licenses revoked before they killed someone. My only serious auto accident was when a 92-year-old man ran a red arrow and I hit him broadside... The D.A. plea bargained the old fellow down to revocation of his license rather than 90 days in jail. I wouldn't want him to spend time in the slammer, he didn't have much left. But I also didn't want him back on the highway.
Anonymous in San Diego writes:
Hi Jack. My father-in-law lives with us and still drives. He is 84 and loves his independence. We also like him staying alive and not killing anyone with his Cadillac. After 70, there should be an actual driving test with a human being to maintain your license every two years. Dad is selling the Caddy when he turns 85.
I am one and I scare myself.
Maybe we should set up sanctuary cities for seniors. It seems to be working quite well for illegal aliens who crash cars with no insurance and just walk away.
Jerry in Georgia writes:
Not until I reach 90... in 20 more years.