There has been a lot of news coverage over the past several months regarding elderly drivers in Massachusetts. If you read the news regularly, you may begin to think that elderly drivers are a menace to our roadways.
Just last week, a 76 year old Rockland woman went to court to face two motor vehicle homicide charges as a result of a allegedly crashing her car into Brockton Hospital and killing a doctor and a secretary. According to her attorney, she is very depressed. It serves as a vivid reminder that you can change your life (and end others) by simply stepping on the gas instead of the breaks, or shifting into the wrong gear. I feel for the families of the victims of elderly drivers and for the elderly drivers.
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles actually has a whole section of their website dedicated to “Mature Drivers”. It publishes a list of questions to ask yourself to determine if you should still drive. It is geared towards elderly drivers – but can apply to anyone. These are some questions you should ask yourself if you drive:
- Can you see clearly in the dusk and dark?
- Do headlights from other vehicles make it difficult for you to see?
- Are you intimidated by passing vehicles?
- Do you have difficulty reading road signs?
- Do you have trouble following construction detours?
- Do you have trouble seeing the police officer on detail near construction zones?
- Do you have trouble seeing a police officer when he or she is directing traffic?
- Do you have difficulty hearing train whistles?
- Do you have difficulty seeing train crossing signals?
- Do you have difficulty keeping up with the posted speed limit?
- Do you get drowsy behind the wheel?
- Do you have difficulty concentrating?
- Do you have difficulty hearing other vehicles?
- Do you get lost on once familiar roads?
- Do you forgot basics, such as headlights, and seat belts?
- Can you parallel park and park in a straight line?
- Are you unsure of your reflexes and reaction time?
- Have your family, friends or even police officers told you that you aren’t a safe driver?
If you are answering yes to many of these questions, perhaps you should think about ways to correct these limitations (such as glasses or a hearing aid), or talk to your family or the Registry of Motor Vehicles about stopping driving.
Are you an elderly driver who has been in an accident? Don’t fight it alone, call an attorney who will fight for you. If you have questions or concerns call me at 866-981-7888 or email me.