Getting your driver’s licence is one of those first real tastes of freedom and independence for many people. Most of us take the freedom of driving for granted, but for many, the thought of losing this independence becomes truly scary, especially as they get older.
A concerned daughter has sparked debate after revealing her 80-year-old mother’s driving is “appalling”. The daughter took to the popular online forum Gransnet to ask for advice.
Posting on the online forum she wrote: “My only problem is her driving. I went for a drive with her recently and was terrified. She is hesitant, drives far too slowly and she tends to hug the shoulder. She says she will probably give up driving when she is around 85 unless the car gives out first.”
She added: “I don’t know how to tell her that her driving is appalling. I suspect her eyesight (which she tells me is perfect, and is clearly not) should take some of the blame, but whatever the reason, she should no longer be driving. I wouldn’t hurt her feelings for the world, but I would like her to be around for a good bit longer. I am afraid she will have an accident and get herself and/or others killed.”
The post generated plenty of responses, with many readers saying she should be honest with her mother.
One user wrote: “I think you need to be honest with her, neither of you would forgive yourselves if someone else was hurt.”
Another user shared his own experience with his father: “He had driven all his adult life, so it wasn’t easy for him to lose his independence like that. When he started driving in the 1930’s there was hardly any traffic. He was quite a good driver, but as he got older he was too slow and tended to drive in the middle of the road.”
However, others called on stricter rules to be emplaced, with one user adding: “I think there should be just as strict rules in later life driving as in young life driving and I also think like 17 is the start age there should be a cut off age.”
Drivers in some states are already required to carry a medical certificate with them in the car, but there are calls for more restrictions, such as annual driving tests, to make it harder for elderly drivers to get on the road.