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Is Dad still a safe driver?

It has been suggested that human's experience life in something of bell curve. We begin as helpless infants, needing constant care and support. We grow older, self-sufficient, and begin to have children of our own, and eventually, we descend back down the curve to the virtual helplessness of living in a nursing home, again totally dependent on others forĀ  care.

And modern America has been engineered with that middle aged individual, fully in command of their senses and capabilities, in mind. The suburbs, with their lack of public transit, their strictly zoned residential and commercial districts, are wonderful places for those who can easily drive a car, and afford to own one.

But as the baby boom, for whom much of that suburban development was structured for, lose that ability to drive, what then? Older drivers tend to be safer than younger drivers, but that is a function of being less reckless and simply driving less.

A 94-year-old man was killed this week in a crash in Newington. The news report does not assign fault and it is unclear that he was the cause of the crash, but his death highlights the issue. Perhaps he did not see the other vehicle, or reacted too slowly.

And even if he was not at fault, his death points to another issue. Older drivers are less resilient than younger drivers. Injuries that may have been minor for a 30-year-old could result in the hospitalization of an 80-year-old individual.

For the adult children of older drivers, it also brings up when to have the uncomfortable conversation, where in a role reversal, it is the child taking the keys away from the parent.

These issues will only become more pronounced as more drivers enter their seventh, eighth or ninth decades.

Source:, "Driver killed in Newington crash was 94-years-old," Samantha Schoenfeld, April 29, 2015

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