Monday, July 11, 2016

How Old Is Too Old To Drive

Forced Off the Road
The emphasis may be on light rail, electric cars and other transportation needs which don’t help most drivers; however, the perils for older drivers are increasing.  As one now over 65 living in largely rural America, cars are essential to mobility and connectivity to the stores, friends as well as one’s ability to live in place.

Insurance costs increasingly price the elderly or those on fixed incomes out of the market along with at risk drivers.  But there is much in the way cars are conceived that work against those who are less mobile hurting our ability to get around.

Car designers often seem oblivious to mobility concerns for those having to step to uncomfortable heights to get in and out of vehicles. Grip friendly controls from heat/AC to the radio, seats allowing comfortable egress or even a lot of convenient nooks and crannies to store things like tissues are wanting.  Visual aids with large lettering, reflective capabilities in the dark or easy to reach buttons are crucial.  The sleek chronometers may look good but I have yet to figure out what they do or why I need one.  All the fancy electronics can be sensorially overwhelming and increase the likelihood of future expensive repairs.

If one thinks politicians are sleazy, don’t take comfort in seeking used car dealers.  Too often they are selling used cars without any warranty at a higher price than many comparable new ones.  Consumer Protection Agencies should require warranties for these full priced vehicles which have a high profit margin and limited manufacturer’s liability. 

Safeguards need to be in place to protect those on the road.  More road checks for registration, licenses and insurance would make sure that those operating on the roads meet some minimum standards.  More frequent checks on those over 70 should be mandatory.  Certain medical conditions such as seizure disorders, visual acuity decreases, diabetes and strokes or other debilitating problems need monitoring frequently.  Cars with backup cameras, side sensors for potential crash notification, adaptive devices which make driving easier and other considerations for maintaining safe mobility should permit an adaptive income tax deduction under medical expenses. 

Having bought my first new car in 20 years, I was astonished by the good deal Mr. Tony Stewart of Mynatt Buick in Concord, NC provided with a sticker price out the door $5,000 less than the retail recommendation and a reasonably priced 100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty (which comes standard on many foreign made cars).  I wanted to buy an American Car and must say the Encore is a treat.  America can only be great again when we support things made in the nation to put our folks back to work again as well as function safely.

Dr. Ada M. Fisher is a PHYSICIAN, licensed teacher , previously elected school board member, former medical director in a fortune 500 company, AUTHOR, gifted Public Speaker and THE nc rEPUBLICAN nATIONAL cOMMITTEEWOMAN. Contact her at P. O. Box 777; Salisbury, NC 28145;DrFisher@DrAdaMFisher.COM. [Her book, Common Sense Conservative Prescriptions Solutions for What AIls Us, Book I IS available through