I was driving to an assignment on Tuesday night and I saw the scariest things I’ve ever seen in my six years of driving.
While stopped at a stop sign, a car at the intersection before me decided to proceed through. The driver, an elderly lady, could barely see over the wheel. Thank God someone was in the passenger seat.
The vehicle was heading east across the intersection while I was facing north. Mid-way through the intersection the car began to drift a little off the road then I saw the passenger — a man in his 40s, grab the wheel and turn onto my side of the intersection, passing me. I guess that was the way they were supposed to go, but the elderly lady wasn’t turning and didn’t use her blinker.
Allow to me preface my opinion on this incident with this: I don’t think there should be an age cap on driving. Driving is a privilege, not a right. I think the driving age at 16 is just fine where it’s at. I don’t think we should be taking away driver’s licenses as soon as people get their AARP cards, either.
With that said, I think there’s a point in everyone’s life where they should not drive.
When it comes to senior citizens and their driving skills, it should be a family decision. Shame on the passenger of that car, who was most likely her son, who let her get behind the wheel.
Shame on anyone who lets the elderly of their family get behind a wheel when they know they could be endangering their lives and the lives of others.
This is no different than letting your 22 year-old son drive drunk. Good parents just don’t do it. Good children shouldn’t let their parents, if physical ailments have affected their skills, drive.
I’m not talking about taking senior citizens out of the voting booth or asking them to give up their conceal and carry permits, I’m talking about families being responsible for one another.
Your grandma needs to go to the store? Drive her yourself. I’m sure you can tear yourself away from whatever is so important in your life to help your grandmother buy some food.
And you know what? I bet you’ll like it. I bet you’ll find out that grandma has lots of stories you never would have listened to unless you weren’t a captive audience behind the wheel of a car.
This whole society thing only works if we care about each other. I don’t expect the passenger of that car to read this column or care about what could have happened if his mother might have hit my car.
I do expect him to care about his mother. I do expect him to worry every single time she gets behind the wheel of that car.
Why do I have such high expectations? Because that’s what I want from my future kids.