When Should We Stop Driving?
100-year-old Preston Carter backed into 9 children and 2 adults near an elementary school in South Los Angeles on Wednesday, August 29th. The driver was not arrested and claimed that his brakes failed. Though the accident is under investigation, the driver still holds a valid driver’s license. Is there a definitive age when we should stop driving? Not necessarily; we all age differently. Yet, vision, hearing, motor skills, and cognitive functions deteriorate as we age; it’s inevitable. According to the British Columbia Automobile Association, at age 55 it takes 8 times longer to recover from glare than at age sixteen. So why is it too easy to renew a driver’s license? In Vermont, licenses are allowed to be renewed by mail for eight years, after which point residents must renew them in person. Not even an eye exam is required. So, when accidents such as the one involving Mr. Carter occur, who else other than the driver is to blame? Who else is culpable? Can it not be said that the local Department of Motor Vehicles or the Department of Transportation are partly to blame? Or, in the case of Mr. Carter, the State of California?