Elderly Driving

One of the hardest thing to do is take away a patient’s license.  Sometimes, it is a person’s only lifeline to society.  Even if the patient has supportive family members it can create isolation and depression.  That being said, we have all seen some major horror stories of old people who should have not been behind a wheel and killed people.    At least this story didn’t end in total disaster.

NBC local affiliate WOWT Channel 6 reports that just before noon on Wednesday an elderly man got his foot stuck on the accelerator of his car and drove into a Valentino’s pizza restaurant. While concerned citizens called 911, the man placed an order for a pizza.

At least he knew where he was.

Yeah, I  think we need better testing on people after a certain age in order to allow them to drive.   But that’s just me.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  6 comments for “Elderly Driving

  1. big picture doc
    January 17, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Agree with the road testing. Docs rarely turn their patients in, and never will. Cars are lethal weapons, and objective, 3rd-party evaluations are the answer.

  2. RWMondak
    January 16, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    My soon to be 84 y/o Dad and I have gone to watch High School Hockey games over the past several years and he prefers to drive – he probably navigates those back road short cuts at night better than I. However, he is still an impatient tailgater and I am sometimes concerned about his reaction time. He sometimes misses road signs, but knows when he does and finds another way to get where he needs to go.
    I concur that a periodic Road Test is in order, but at what age? 65? 75? (hopefully not at 57 yrs old – I have one more cataract extraction later this month – then I will be ready).

  3. tom walsh
    January 16, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    The problem, as evidenced by the previous comments, is where or at what age do you draw the line? There are people at 85 who are better drivers than some at 50. Testing every 5 years or some other magical number will only drive up the costs of getting a license and will probably not remove the dangerous drivers from the road. They will know their license is on the line and will concentrate very hard to pass the test.

  4. Ellen, RPh
    January 16, 2013 at 10:28 am

    It sure depends on the person. I took my dad’s keys away when he was 89,but not his license. I felt it might be less demoralizing that way. He still tells folks that I took his keys away… but it was time.

  5. Carol
    January 16, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I think everyone should have a drivers test every 5 years- there are people younger who are a danger too- then no one could claim discrimination

    • Anesthesia Doc
      January 16, 2013 at 10:25 am

      I agree with Carol. I’m willing to take a basic “drive around the block” test, maybe every other license renewal, to prove that I’m safe. There are plenty of unfit drivers that shouldn’t be on the road, and this makes it nobody’s fault but their own when they lose their licenses.

      I joke with my parents about them driving on the sidewalk (they’re 75 and fine right now). When the time comes that they’re dangerous, I’ll step up and do what it takes to get them off the road.

Comments are closed.