Elder Drivers Need Families for Protection, Love and Respect

Elderly drivers are increasing with age demographics in a baby-boomer dominated American population. Differing laws among the states regarding elderly drivers, and accidents associated with elderly drivers have been important topics to both lawmakers and scholars for the past several years. What is the reason for the plethora of discussion surrounding this issue? America, as a society, is aging.

Heather Fox has written a fabulous article that explains and discusses this important issue and how families can be the solution for elder drivers. Entitled “The Miss Daisy [1] Complex: To Drive or Not to Drive? That is the Question,” her work discusses the demographic realities, and suggests that elder drivers do not necessarily need more state DMV regulations, but rather families to love, respect and protect them from driving dangers. Here’s an excerpt from her piece:
In fact, the United States is in the midst of a profound demographic change: the rapid aging of its population, as reflected by an increasing proportion of persons aged 65 and older.  As a result of the aging of the large baby boom generation and the fact that great improvements have been made in healthcare and medicine, the elderly population is growing.  In 2020, the population of those sixty-five and over is expected to have increased from the approximately thirty-five million in 2000 to approximately fifty-five million and by 2050, to have increased to approximately eighty-seven million.[2]  In turn, the fastest growing segment of the driving population is the elderly drivers.[3]  “. . . By 2030, elderly drivers will account for 18.9 percent of all vehicle miles driven, almost triple the 1990 figure.”[4]  “Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) predict that there will be a dramatic increase in the number of fatal traffic accidents related to elderly driving impairment …

Read the entire article here, and find out how to protect yourself, your family, and the common good

[1] DRIVING MISS DAISY (Warner Bros. Pictures 1989); Massachusetts Institute o f Technology (Simulator named “Miss Daisy” which tests advances in auto technology for how well the changes will address the issues elderly drivers experience).
[2] Aplin, supra, note 8, at 382-83.
[3] David Rosenfield, Note, From California to Illinois to Florida, Oh My!: The Need for a More Uniform Driver’s License Renewal Policy, 12 ELDER L.J. 449, 452 (2004).
[4] A. Kimberley Dayton, Timothy H. Guare & Molly M. Wood, Advising the Elderly Client, May 2009, § 4:39 (WL).

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