Traffic Accidents Increasing Among Elderly

February 1, 2017

There are news reports almost every day recently about elderly drivers involved in traffic accidents. What are the causes of these traffic accidents?

 

In general, people’s physical abilities gradually deteriorate as they age, but they don’t notice it themselves. Therefore, they think they can drive as well as when they were young. This way of thinking is the cause of many traffic accidents. They should surrender their driver’s license immediately.

 

There are two reasons they don’t surrender their driver’s license. Firstly, they believe their physical ability hasn’t degraded. They drive a car every day, but they don’t notice that their physical ability is declining until they cause a traffic accident.

 

Secondly, using a car is more convenient than using public transportation, especially in rural areas where buses don’t run very often.  And buses often don’t stop at places the elderly want to go. If they don’t have a car, they will be not able to go where they like. Therefore, they think it is important that they continue to maintain their car.

 

To resolve this problem, I think they should change from driving automatic transmission cars to manual transmission cars. They would be less likely to mistake the axel from the brake, and the engine would stall when they do make a mistake because their left foot wouldn’t be on the clutch.

 

This would decrease the number of elderly drivers involved in traffic accidents. If they don’t mistake the axel from the brake, they won’t accidentally drive into convenience stores or buildings with their cars.

 

However, it’s possible that if elderly drivers changed to manual transmission cars, accidents could increase behind them when they stop quickly. Even so, I think the number of deaths would decrease. If elderly drivers continue to cause accidents, they may become afraid to drive. 

 

Therefore, the number of elderly returning their driver’s licenses will increase. To resolve this problem, I think elderly drivers should return their driver’s license voluntarily and early, and the government or local government should find convenient and safe ways for the elderly to get around.

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