According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Old Drivers Too Independent

Friday, December 23, 2011

Old Drivers Too Independent

Sam and I are about to make a few enemies telling people over the age of 80 that they should get out of their cars and leave the driving to somebody else.

Or at least we’re going to “disappoint” a number of people we know. People often say you “disappoint” them rather than say you’ve pi s -ed them off, because they think telling you politely but pointedly that you’ve “disappointed” them will have the same effect it has on a naughty dog peeing on their floor. Not so. We don’t care if we’re disappointing you, because as far as we’re concerned, if you’re over the age of 80 you should stop driving a car. Period!

Yes, there are exceptions to every rule. I’ve seen 80 year olds push-mow an acre of lawn. I’ve seen them garden until their backs should be begging for mercy. And some of their handshakes are as firm and bone-jarring as anybody’s. And a lot of younger-than-80-year olds don’t function anyway near as the oldsters.

But just as Sam and I don’t believe anyone over 80 should continue to serve as a judge or Supreme Court justice (a whole ‘nother story), we sincerely believe MOST people over 80 should quit driving their cars.

The impetus for this tirade (if you will) against older drivers is prompted by something I saw yesterday and shared with Sam. I saw a woman who was wheel-chair bound only manage to get into her van and ready to drive by means of a mechanical hoist and two able-bodied men. Her driver chair turned around electrically to receive her wasted body once the wheel chair ramp raised her to the right height and pulled her inside. When she was seated in her driver’s chair and turned toward the steering wheel, the two men belted her in and helped her figure out how to use the various hand controls in the van.

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen people almost as bad as that, people who could barely walk, whose legs and arms were so wasted by arthritis or MS or some other disease, they couldn’t move across a small kitchen floor without a walker or crutches or some other kind of device, get into a car and drive someplace. I personally know several people in their 90s who still possess drivers’ license and drive around out on our city streets.

I’m sorry, but you people – and you know who you are - are a menace to yourselves and everyone else. I know it’s hard to give up your independence, especially if you feel like you have no one else to depend upon. I know living in senior “retirement” housing can be demeaning, I know arranging rides on the city transit system can be a hassle. But you NEED TO QUIT DRIVING.

Sam and I aren’t going to quote statistics or make any kind of logical, scientific or other case against driving when you’re past 80. No, we’re just saying you shouldn’t do it. That’s our opinion. Take it or leave it. But what if you injured or killed someone because you shouldn’t have been driving? It happens way too frequently. Just read the newspapers. Be kind to yourselves because we love you.


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