DWO (Driving While Old) – Is the geezer ready for this?

In today’s New York Times there is a very good article about DWO (driving while old) and the role of driving rehabilitation specialists. The article contains a number of references to web sites, including an informative one describing the resources available in each state. It also describes what a driving rehabilitation specialist does and provides a link to the national organization.

The article made me aware, once again, of the increasing number of old people, their driving habits, their accident rates and the steps being taken to “help” them. It was informative, but appeared to be written from the point of view of someone under 65; which is probably good, as people over 65 become very defensive about their age, their ability to drive,  and what they see in the mirrors every day: both the car mirror and the bathroom mirror.

It takes one to know one. I have discovered since I turned 65, that maybe I think a bit differently about things. Intellectually, I understand that I am getting older; as a practical matter, I fight it; helped along but any number of businesses that know just what I need. I may be more of a rebel than when I  was in my teens.  I won’t give anyone the least excuse to curtail my driving “privileges.”

I have taken the AARP Senior Driver Safety Class twice. The certificate is good for three years and you get a discount on car  insurance. It lasts for four hours,  has some good suggestions, makes you think a bit, and is a good refresher. It is non-threatening and everyone passes. It  is something positive to have in your records and you can use it as an argument as to why you should not be evaluated; and, why you should continue to drive.

The geezer worries:

  1. If the driving evaluation results are negative, and I still drive, can that be used against me in a lawsuit resulting from an accident.
  2. What happens to a negative evaluation? You can’t reason with me when I need to drive.
  3. I am very sensitive to finding out and having documented,  just how infirm I am and actually knowing what I can and cannot do. Some choices I do not want to make.
  4. In a perfect world, this would be fine, but I think I have to drive and  have no acceptable alternatives; so,  I am not about to do anything that would give anyone any reason to take my keys.
  5. Would the driving rehabilitation specialist report to DMV; to my kids; or, to my insurance company?

I

  1.  am deaf
  2.  after 40 years of driving with glasses, passed the MVD vision test and am not required to wear glasses. I am a bit nervous, as I am not sure of my vision. In an abundance of caution, I wear prescription glasses when driving; can see the road and signs much better;  but would hate to be required to wear glasses again.
  3. am unhappy that I can only get a five-year license, instead of the ten-year license that I used to get.
  4. avoid driving with my kids when they visit; I let them drive. I remember my father missing turns, stop signs and not seeing other cars. No need to alert my children, who were raised to be responsible and who would take my keys, not to mention my car,  to my increasing deficiencies.
  5. am careful about driving on free-ways, especially during rush hour or after dark.
  6. know all the side streets to get where I want to go, so as to avoid traffic and cops.
  7. am carefull about drinking
  8. am very aware that people under 65 think of me as a dangerous, but slow, old man.
  9. get obnoxious when I hear anything that might affect me just because I am old.

In conclusion, how do you convince me that I should be evaluated?

Remember, even though you are young, you are dealing with the GEEZER!

 



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