December 15, 2017
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Comments for: Maine’s senior drivers worry safety experts

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  • Anonymous

    Seems, we have two fronts, war on the poor, now, war on the elderly, how many of these alleged acidents are caused by Mainers over 65, or how  many by out of staters over 65, are we going to restrict out of state flatty’s over 65 from driving in state? Have a check point at the state line? We do not get a lot of details anymore in these articles. So Summers is looking for votes, this is sure going to help, LOL.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, the Right Wingahs want to raise insurance rates on the elderly, they told me so….

      • Anonymous

        Oh, there, now we know the what’s behind this, so called safety push, lol, okay, yup.

        • Anonymous

          LOL

    • melibusa

       Interestingly left out of the statistics, how many elderly are responsible for these accidents?  ‘Involved’  is a vast difference from responsible.  Another attempt at skewing the statistics, to get the response desired.

  • Anonymous

    52 year old Edie had to be told to “slow the heck down”. She slammed on the brakes and the car fishtailed as it came to a screeching stop,just missing the police car. She couldn’t see the blue lights of the police car at a long distance on I-95? I would say a little common sense driver training  is needed by Edie.

    • Anonymous

      I’m guessing you have never experienced this type of thing on a highway.  It happened once to me in another city where an old duff drove up a long off ramp and its the strangest thing.  For a few moments it is surreal as what you are seeing should be on the other side of the road.  Edie did just fine.

      BTW, in that case, a policeman showed out of nowhere and blocked the car, but fortunately the old guy stopped before a crash – although he still had no idea what was wrong. 

      • Anonymous

        You would be guessing wrong. I’ve been driving for almost 50 years now and I’ve seen a lot of different things happen on the road. If you are familiar with I-95 here in Maine then you know that there are very few places where you would come upon anything without ample time to react.
        The elderly driver was not on an on or off ramp,he was on the highway. If James had to tell Edie to slow down then Edie did not do just fine.

  • Anonymous

    Not to offend the elderly because there certainly are a good many safe drivers out there age 65 and older. But there are also as many non safe drivers. My own parents were unsafe, and I wanted them off the roads, and requested it of the State. Age 65 and up, they need road tests. 

    • Anonymous

      maybe then they should test everyone, hardly anyone stops at stop signs, for pedestrians, they do not know how to stop at cross walks. speeding, just to name a few. Their are a lot  of drivers that should be off the road. Not just the elderly. I drive with a lot of elderly. Yes, a lot have problems, the same others do.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, just ignore the facts and evidence. 

        • Anonymous

          First time I’ve ever agreed with you on something.  I don’t see this as an attack on senior citizen drivers, but you just can’t ignore the statistics.  My 90 year old father had to surrender his license four years ago based on input from his doctor.  It was the right call, although my father would tell you to this day that it wasn’t even though he has macular degeneration, can’t turn his head to the left, and doesn’t have the energy to walk down the hall without taking a nap afterward.  In his mind, he’s still a good driver, and he was.  Never had an accident in 70 years of driving.

    • Anonymous

       I’m over 65 and I will gladly submit to a road test that is if everyone else will submit to random drug testing…………………….

  • Anonymous

    I smell a rat. I smell a great big nasty rat. I smell the insurance industrys greedy paws all over this. What the bottom line will be is an excuse for inusrance rates to be jacked up for people over 65. Probably an excuse to raise them each year until they stop driving. MONEY, not concern for anyones safety is the driving force behind this.

    • Anonymous

      Hadn’t thought of it that way, pat, you may be right.

      • Anonymous

        SAD :(

    • Anonymous

      I believe you hit the nail right on the head.

    • Anonymous

      No, I disagree.  I think most people are in denial about a day when they should give up the keys.  They recognize when the other guy needs to give them up – but not when they need to do so themselves.

      My parents are in their late 70s, and we’re going to be talking about this issue in a few days.  I want t start talking about it, because I have seen so many that haven’t, and when the time comes, it is a shock.

      I’ve thought about making a video of myself, telling my kids to take the keys when the time comes.  Since I am like everyone else, I will most likely be in denial, too.  Maybe I will listen to my own voice.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t deny that there are older drivers out there that aren’t quite what they used to be. But I also feel that the driving force behind this is the insurance industry pushing for an excuse to raise insurance rates.
         
        There was a time when people who drove small cars were given a break because it cost less to fix their vehicles after an accident. Then it went the other way, in that people who drove bigger vehicles, like SUVs, pickups, etc. were penalized because of their higher center of gravity, which made it easier for them to flip and roll. People under 25 pay higher premiums, now they want people over 65 to pay higher premiums.

        Everyone has to buy insurance or lose their registration. They rigged it so that if you dropped your snowmobile insurance, the state was being called and your registration was being pulled on all your vehicles.

        This smells to high heaven IMO. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc., it’s a duck.

        • Anonymous

           Insurance premiums are based on risk.  Are you trying to tell me that drivers under age 25 aren’t a risk?

          We’re reading almost daily stories about the very young killing themselves in auto accidents; we are also hearing sad stories of the elderly driving long after they should have stopped.

          Just yesterday, I read a story about an elderly woman who drove through two fences and a …get this….a guardrail! before ending up 30 feet from shore in Portland Harbor.

          I think it is hard for anyone who is observant to deny that the risk is higher once a person reaches a certain age.  If you read my earlier post, my opinion is that most are in denial when the time comes for them to give up their own keys.

          I’m wondering about your personal level of denial.

          • Anonymous

            How many people over 65 in this world?  You point out a story you read, nice.  Now go google stories about teens and texting behind the wheel and see how many more accidents have happened, then maybe your prejudices can be adjusted.

          • Anonymous

             More people over 65 than there are trolls, I imagine.

          • Anonymous

             I completely agree that many elderly people do not know when to give up driving and are causing a danger to others. Not only do they get into more accidents, as referenced in above article, they also cause more accidents than any other age group. 

            I don’t know how many times I have been behind an elderly person who is going 40mph in a 55mph zone and then when they get into a 25mph zone they keep on going the same 40mph speed. They also cause long lines of traffic by going 15mph below the speed limit (40 in a 55), which in turn causes frustration among all those caught in the line of traffic and this increases the likelihood of someone doing something stupid. 

            I also notice that when you get elderly people at busy intersections it is a nightmare because they do not have the reaction time necessary to realize when they can pull out, again causing the same situation as above (backing up traffic and causing long lines).

            I have personally dealt with this issue when my grandfather was in his early 80s he started to become forgetful and his reaction times were severely diminished.  He refused to give up his license or stop driving, luckily he didn’t drive too much anyway and we all pitched in to give him rides.  Eventually his doctor wrote a letter to the DMV referencing dementia and they made him take a road test. 

            We all knew he would fail because there was no way he could drive up to the standards it takes to pass a license test.  I can still see the shocked look on my face when he came back with the little piece of paper saying he passed.  The license examiners obviously go easy on the old folks, which is complete b.s.  If he was tested to the same standard that I was when I got my license at 16 years old there is no chance he would have passed.  This double standard is only going to cause more accidents and the examiners need to think long and hard about this.

            Having been through this first hand I can say that it is no fun telling a grown man he can’t drive anymore, but for the safety of your loved ones and the safety of others….you need to have the conversation. 

          • Anonymous

            I’m not in denial about my skills as a driver. I’m not in denial about my witnessing the insurance industry manipulating governments in their quest for ever higher profits either.

            I hope and pray that when my time as a driver is up that I’ll recognize that time and give up my keys. I just don’t like the insurance industry raking in an ever larger % of my fixed income.

            BTW, I have over 3 million miles of driving under my belt.

          • Anonymous

            I hope and pray that I’ll give them up, too.  If I’m like many, the keys will have to be pried out of my hand.  That’s why it needs to be talked about now.

      • Anonymous

        How many tickets and accidents have you been involved in?

        • Anonymous

           I’m not quite 54, and have been driving since 1974.  I have had one ticket for an expired inspection sticker, and I have had one for speeding.

          I was in a fender bender in 1985 or 1986; I was struck by a driver that ran a red light (he was summonsed) just last year. 

          That’s my full disclosure.  Now that I have answered your question, I have one of my own:

          Did you have a cogent point to make?  Or are you just working off a little aggression?

          • Anonymous

            I have a cogent point to make.  You sir are about as prejudiced towards senior citizens as anyone I have ever heard of, or in this case read about, who is about to slam his parents, as you admit.  Now, your admissions of accidents is admirable although I totally doubt that it is a full disclosure.  Please kneel at your bedside at nite and pray and be thankful that we have never met.

          • Anonymous

            My point is that I am over 65 and have never had either.  Why should I pay more for insurance than you or be deemed a risk by the State and placed under their scruniny.  A little thin-skinned, are we ?

          • Anonymous

             No, not thin-skinned.  If you wanted to say what you just said, why not make that point from the beginning, instead of appearing to ask me if I have a poor record.

            Look, you could be a great 18-year old driver, or you could be a very good firefighter – this still means that you are part of a high risk group. 

            It isn’t a personal thing, just reality.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, you tell your parents!  Send them somewhere, they do not deserve your support, they deserve getting told they are untrustworthy.  Then again, you may be right, they raised you didn’t they?

  • Anonymous

    One time when I was pulling into a bank parking lot, there was an senior citizen (she had to be in her 80’s) trying to go the wrong way through the drive up window. She backed up and made two attempts at it as she couldn’t understand why the tellers window was on the passenger side of her car instead of the drivers side.  It was sad, as obviously she needs to turn in her license. Yesterday, I encountered an elderly man barely able to get back into his pickup and had tremors so bad, that it made his whole body shake. The worse part is, that if senior citizens can no longer drive, what then? We live in a state where everything is not always at your finger tips. Families are spread out and not always near by to help. Its a hard thing to lose your independence. Its also a hard thing to get in an accident and hurt someone or worse. This kind of situation is where family members have to come in and make arrangements to take their loved ones license away if the elderly driver wont make the decision themselves. These families also have to step in and come up with a plan to provide transportation to these senior citizens. Example, move them to an apartment on a bus route, and buy the bus pass for them. Or move them closer to family that can provide transportation for them. Bottom line, you cannot take away senior citizens independence without a plan in place.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. There’s a need for more public transportation that’s focused on the rural elederly. Make the blood-sucking insurance companies pay for it. 

      •  How about the elderly plan ahead and move to where the services they might need are close.

        • Anonymous

          With energy, food, housing, and medical costs trending skyward that’s a sound long term goal for both specific people and policy. Due to the current economy however, there are many rural elderly stuck in unsalable homes whose only transportation is their vehicle. Short term rural public transportation should be funded with the blood of the insurance weasels.

        • Anonymous

          Get a clue. Many elderly don’t have the financial resources  to live in cities where there is public transportation. And why should they be forced to move from communities where they’ve lived their lives and where their friends are? Public transportation should come to them.

        • Anonymous

          Right derek, you are correct.  Make the elderly move when they turn 65.  Once you have accomplished that, then sign up and get in line because you are gonna get there yourself and you should not have  a choice on where you want to live.  Imbecile.

    • Anonymous

      Personally I was so happy when my 77 year old mother stopped driving on her own because it was time. Her biggest concern was hurting someone else. This is an issue that should be discussed with our parents so we need to start the conversation early so s to help them ease out of driving when it is time. It was very beneficial that we had this conversation with my mother the last two years she drove. She now is RIP knowing she stopped and most likely avoided a serious accident that could have been fatal or seriously hurting an innocent person.

      • Anonymous

        My condolences.  I doubt however that she is RIP over her decision to stop driving, she is probably in peace knowing she didn’t have to be banished because of her age.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah well, go ahead and get on your parents, those folks that raised you, they deserve punishment for being elderly.

      • Anonymous

         Actually that’s NOT what I said at all. Number one, both of my parents are deceased. Number two, I did take it upon myself to talk my elderly father when he was still alive and we determined it was no longer safe for him to drive as he was a danger to himself and others. I had to be the one to initiate that conversation, as my dad didn’t see anything wrong with his driving. He was not maintaining the vehicle in his lane, he was all over the road, had vision problems, and would drive at least 10 miles below the speed limit. He was an accident waiting to happen. Taking his license was Punishment? Not if its handled correctly, and like I mentioned, have a plan be put in place to help with transportation. So I ask you, is it better to take away an elderly drivers independence when it becomes not safe for them to drive based on your own observations of their driving, or should we wait for them to kill themselves or someone else in an accident? That would be punishment don’t you think? Having to live with the fact that they hurt someone or killed them due to their driving. I never said that licenses should be taken away just because they are elderly. Each situation is different. I said licenses should be taken away when it becomes unsafe for them to drive. Apparently you did not pay attention to the details of my post.

        • Anonymous

          You are way too egotistical and into yourself to be able to make any sense.  Can’t wait for you to be one of the “elderly” and see what your thoughts are then.

  • Anonymous

    With not a lot of increase in the cost of living for those receiving Social  Security and the cost of living on the rise a lot of senior citizens are now faced with returning to work to make ends meet. I am not against retesting drivers after a certain age, anything that makes our highways safer I am all for, just really hope it never comes to higher insurance rates for seniors. We as drivers individually make our own driving record and I for one don’t think we should be grouped into a classification of drivers and charged higher rates because of classification.

    • Anonymous

      The insurance company friendly Republicans already put us seniors in a group that allows the health insurance industry to pile on the costs so they’re probably not going to stop them from piling on some more.

  • Anonymous

    Electonically impaired drivers texting, talking, GPS tracking, etc. scare me more than seniors.

    • Anonymous

      Maine’s got elderly driver issues ? Head on down to Florida where the seniors are texting and talking on their cells, in droves.

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely! I see drivers all the time, looking down in their lap with no focus of what is going around them until a horn beeps. This seems to be increasing as I see it at many of the lights and stops in Bangor.

  • Tom Brown III

    gray dawn. 

  • Anonymous

    There are plenty of “Maine” drivers who could benefit from some up-to-date driving lessons, about such aspects as using turn signals, pulling up to the center line when waiting to make a left turn, how to use interstate on-ramps, yielding to pedestrians on cross-walks and other common courtesies.

    • Anonymous

      those all sound like Massachusetts issues. Down there when they pass you, they get back into the lane exactly six inches in front of you.

    • Anonymous

       I totally agree, especially with the “pulling up to the center line when waiting to make a left turn”. I don’t know how many times I see this in a week and it drives me nuts. 

      The other big one is when you are at a two way stop and you are going straight across the road and the driver stopped on the other side is going to turn left, in front of you, and they think they have the right of way. 

      Another one that people need to remember is that cars exiting the roadway have the right of way over those entering.  I don’t know how many times I have seen a car that is waiting at a stop sign start to pull out in front of a car exiting the roadway, and then they act like the person exiting the roadway did something wrong. 

      A required refresher course every 10-15 years would do a lot of good.

  • Anonymous

    Generally there is no such thing as an “accident”. Usually a “crash” is caused because someone did something stuped.

  • Anonymous

    The answer is here and it’s now legal in California. The questions are, is it affordable to Maine seniors and would Maine embrace such technology in a timely manner?
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/chris_gerdes_the_future_race_car_150mph_and_no_driver.html

  • Superuser23

    Although there may be concern for the elderly and the way they drive, I myself observe they can’t drive the speed limit and do 20 under, on the other hand, enough of the elderly how about them folks who talk on their cell phone and text and drive? At least the elderly have their eyes on the road……

    • Anonymous

      There is no minimum speed limit (expect on Turnpike, 40 MPH, lower in snow).

      If someone feels safer driving 40 in a 45 MPH zone, respect that, wait for a safe stretch of road, pass them and be on your way.   

      Being retired, I often allow those “in a rush” to pass me and then find them, miles later at the next stop sign or traffic light, there they are, one car length ahead of me!  

       Risked my life, their own, and oncoming traffic, for a 20-foot advantage???

      • Superuser23

        I didn’t say there was a minimum speed on all road ways………………………..

        • Anonymous

          Seemed as though you were commenting on the elderly: “…they can’t drive the speed limit and do 20 under…”

          My point was that going too slow is a lot safer than going too fast.  “Too slow” drivers can let you pass, but the “Too Fast” ones endanger everyone, they make you nervous, and they tailgate.

          • Superuser23

             Too slow can endanger, if you are to take a curve at 35 and someone is doing 15-20 in a blind area, you could hit them pretty quick doing the posted speed limit, but with that said, that is also why I closed my original comment with “enough of the elderly how about them folks who talk on their cell phone
            and text and drive? At least the elderly have their eyes on the
            road……”

  • Anonymous

    You can bet that what ever the government does they will get it wrong.  There are 90 year olds better drivers than 40 year olds. There are 40 year olds not fit to drive. It’s not an AGE issue, it’s a qualification issue. You can bet that those who are poor drivers will have a problem with age.

    • Anonymous

      That sounds scientific enough.

    • Anonymous

      Sadly, age is part of it.  Everyone should have to take a road test every so often.  Maybe every 10 years and if you fail at any age, then you lose your license. 40 or 90.  No difference.

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully driverless cars are just around the corner. Nevada and California have essentially permitted them as the safety record of such cars are far superior to human driven cars. Many miles  of the 50,000 tested included San Francisco. The only accidents were when the driverless cars were hit by human driven cars.
       There are lot of legal issues that will slow this down. The technology has been proven to work. Leave it to humans to argue while the technology advances.

    • Anonymous

       Silly humans, cars are for bots!

  • Anonymous

    Seniors need OBAMA PHONE!

  • Anonymous

    Until public transportation becomes as convenient, fast and economical as my own car I will continue driving.  My best advice under the circumstances is Fasten Your Seat belts. 

    • Anonymous

      Public transportation will get there with public support. Already it’s more convenient, just as fast, and more economical for me to take the BAT bus between Bangor and Orono than it is to drive. Expanding public transportation is far and away the best use of our transportation dollars.

      • Anonymous

         Fine for going from Bangor to Orono but how about trying to get to two or three places within Bangor.  Or how about if you have to be at work at 6am or anytime after the system closes down?

  • I’m seriously wondering if Summers is not trying to lose the senatorial election. I’m sure he is aware that older citizens vote in far greater numbers than younger ones.

    My mother died at 95 having one ticket for speeding (when she was 59) in her whole driving career.

    My father died at age 92 with NO tickets, not even a parking ticket on his record. 

    “licensed drivers 65 and older, are about 20 percent of all drivers, according
    to the Maine Secretary of State’s Office. However, 22 percent of fatal
    crashes in Maine involved drivers 65 and older in 2010” 

    This assumes that no drivers licensed in other States use Maine’s highways and byways.  It also should be noted that “involved” is not the same as “at fault.”

    Finally big rig truckers (3% of the driving population) are “involved” in 15% of all fatal vehicle accidents Nationally….. Of course testing them would cost businesses money.

    • Anonymous

      Your last statement is so ridiculous as to not even count in the real world.I grew up in a truck cab.Truckers have to undergo far more stringent recurring testing and are far more concerned about safety than the average driver.When they are assessed fines it is proportionately far higher than the auto driver.This is also a nice $$ maker for little towns.
      These old people are an absolute menace and nobody will take them on.The folderol about how families will step in-won’t happen.The state needs to fix this problem and do it NOW!

      • Anonymous

         Guess what, GP … you will be one of “These old people” someday — bet you change your “absolute menace” position very quickly!

    • melibusa

       I agree with your post, until the last paragraph.  ‘Big rig truckers’  as a whole have much more extensive training than other drivers on the road.  Drivers in “four wheelers” ,not understanding the dynamics of driving a big rig, often contribute to many accidents and then try to blame the trucker.

      • Anonymous

        And when they do have an accident, anyone in front of them dies.  Been there…seen that

    • Anonymous

       You are just as flawed as your argument. 

      You complain about the statistics used in the article and then you use a completely flawed statistic in your own argument, in the final paragraph. 

      While truckers may account for 3% of the driving population (assuming your stats are correct), one of the reasons they are involved in 15% of all fatal vehicle accidents is because they account for way more miles than the typical driver of a passenger vehicle. 

      Long haul and otr truck drivers are some of the most highly trained drivers  anywhere.  I would feel much safer with more tractor trailer trucks on the road versus having more senior drivers. 

      •  I agree both arguments are flawed.  I got my figures from the National Highway Safety Board website and the whole study is based on “miles driven” as in so many accidents per mile.

        You might be interested to know that some tractor trailer drivers have no training at all. That is right zero hours of training.  This is due to our government allowing Mexican trucks and Mexican drivers to operate on our highway with only a Mexican license which requires only that one pass a simple road test.

  • David Gregg

    You know when you’re born you have a 100% chance of dying? -oh and of course Taxes. I really can’t wait for the government/insurance/healthcare people to take ALL the hazards out of life so we can live worry free. 

     Don’t write off people for being old…the system we have used for making sure someone can drive safely is fine. We should worry more about distracted drivers or the ones going 30-40 over posted speed, ect. Accidents will happen….It’s LIFE!

    • Anonymous

      Since 9/11/01, 500,000 Americans have been killed in motor vehicle “accidents.” Where is the outrage? oh, it’s life.

      • David Gregg

        If you don’t want to die in a motor vehicle accident…don’t ride in a car. Life has inherent dangers and Insurance/Healthcare demigods will make sure we wear our seat belts,helmets,non-smoker,non-drinker,non-drug (but you can do scripes all day long),can’t drive over 65 yrs old, can’t get that operation cause you’re too old and it will cost to much to have you live just two more years.Just like the danger of reading one of my run on sentences with bad grammar…P to the Dizzle. Things happen! It’s an awful trail of thought that society will learn to hate. If everyone moved to NH and “lived free and died” would we still have insurance and obamacare?? That is the question?

        • Anonymous

          You mean Heritage Foundation/WillardCare.

      • Anonymous

        Most common causes of auto accidents, ( in order): 1) Distracted Driving, 2) Driver Fatigue, 3) Drunk Driving, 4) Speeding, 5) Aggresive Driving.  Nothing about seniors.  Why pick on them?  You still see drivers taxting and talking on Cells.  You still read about drunks. You still see drivers speeding and driving aggressivly.  Why not work on them first?  Maybe because they are habits of the lawmakers?

  • Anonymous

    As I stopped and turned left, girl going straight through her stop sign gestured at me, incredulous that I wasn’t yielding to her. Then she signaled and moved over to the left of two left turn lanes. Then, as she executed the left turn, she switched lanes from left to right, all while still signaling left. She was probably 25 and completely oblivious that she was in the wrong.

  • Anonymous

    Kinda makes you wonder if Edie has a “STELLAR” driving record.

  • Anonymous

    Dump your parents today! take what they have earned for yourself and put them in a home where there is public transportion.. These units must be surpressed and allowed only to play bingo, on Sunday afternoons. Take away their voting rights to boot. Old units are bothersome do you think.. How did they get old? I’m guessing one day at a time.. The political parties are divided, next the rich and the poor, now the young and the old.. Who decided everything needs to be divided anyway? DIVIDE AND CONQUER. 

  • Anonymous

    All states should have random driver evalution. It should not matter the driver age. Once people get their license, they don’t always drive safely. If it there was a chance of their name being pulled to retest, people would be more aware of the way they are driving. There would not be “age discrimination”. Driving is not a “right”, it is a “privilage”. It should not be ” I have it now and unless I break the law or hurt someone, you can’t touch me”

  • Anonymous

    All states should impliment randon testing. If you have a license, it should not matter how old you are or when you got the license, you could be tested again to demonstrate your ability to drive. If the possibility to have to retest was there, most people would be sure that they were driving correctly. There would not be any age discrimination involved. That is what happen years ago when older drivers had to be retested because of their age. Most people out there could not pass a drivers exam. They have picked up habits that they assume are correct and are not. Poeple forget that driving is a privilage not a right.

  • Laurie Orlov

    “Nationally, drivers 65 and older account for 16 percent of all drivers
    and 8 percent of all miles driven, but account for 17 percent of all
    traffic fatalities in 2010, according to TRIP, a national transportation research group.”

    So for a 1 percent difference in the number of drivers and the percent of fatalities — change nothing.

    “52% of young drivers 18-29reported texting or e-mailing while driving at least once in the last 30 days, and more than a quarter report texting or e-mailing “regularly” or “fairly often” while driving.3 Handheld cell phone use continues to be higher among 16-to 24-year-olds and lower among drivers age 70 and older.” And only 11% of the 65+ even have smart phones (see Pew Research).

    There’s plenty more about young drivers, texting, etc on the CDC website:

    http://www.cdc.gov/MotorVehicleSafety/distracted_driving/index.html

    And one more thing:  what’s going on with age 65 as a deadline for anything?  There are on average 20-30 years to go, people are not retiring today until an average age of 69. Next year, that will no doubt be 70.  The full social security benefit is going to kick in later and later.  65 was designated as an age of retirement for Social Security when the life expectancy was 67.

  • Anonymous

    The lack of speed law enforcement also enters into the picture.

    At the higher than legal speeds which have become a regular aspect of Maine driving, reaction time of all drivers is effectively diminished.  If one adds in diminished capacity — age-related neurology, screaming kids, a too tight schedule for serving customers, or texting to make sure the BFF really is … — the toll in carnage will increase.

    The higher than legal speed behavior which is becoming endemic also increases the energy which must be dissipated safely in an impact envent by braking or by distortion of vehicle structure.  The energy of a vehicle traveling 80 is double that of one doing 55.  If 80 seems unusually high, you probably haven’t been traveling a lot on 55-posted roads.

    What probably most of us have encountered are circumstances where we have elected to exceed the speed limit ourselves out of a well-reasoned decision about our traveling safely.  Sometimes it is prudent to observe the laws of physics, not those of man.

    Getting the police to actually enforce speed laws will definitely change accident statistics.  But, like Jack Benny when he was asked, “your money or your life”, the State is still thinking about it.

  • Jud Crandall

    we should take their licenses away!!!

  • Anonymous

    “Sometimes older drivers come to a dead stop in merging lanes”, that is because the lanes to get on the interstate are YIELD lanes, NOT merge lanes!.  And sometimes you have to stop to YIELD to the oncoming traffic, let them go by and THEN safely get on the highway. READ THE SIGNS!

  • Pamela 058

    Be careful about thinking of changing any laws about this because we will all be at that age one day..think twice

  • Anonymous

    You and Gilligan should be ashamed of your nasty insinuations!!

    • Anonymous

      Really!!!  What the heck are the comments for!!

    • They are a good looking couple!!

      • Anonymous

        We can all imagine what you look like too. Tsk Tsk Tsk

  • Anonymous

    Don’t expect Charlie -Hey I’m running for Senate – to do anything against 65 plus group as they vote and 16 year olds don’t.  Many older drivers are fine, but some are not.  Pretty much the same as the lifted pick-up drivers and motorcyclists and every other class of driver.  Most are safe, a few don’t or can’t care about the others on the road.  Maybe a reflex test in addition to vision testing as we age?  How about an attitude test for ALL drivers!  What about one of those progressive insurance snap shots to be turned in every year (regardless of age)?  Yes, people have a love of driving and hate to give it up, but at some point, your love of driving exceeds your ability to be a safe driver. I just had to stop my mother from driving – not a pleasant task. 

  • Anonymous

    People forget that each of us will get to this age eventually, should we be blessed with continued life.
    The older drivers actually have had better driving instruction in their teenage years–drivers’ ed in school, driving with an experience instructor–lasting a semester of a high school year–but in recent years, it is simply a short course costing the parents a lot of money.
    It seems that this past year we have heard about more teenage to middle agers having the accidents and causing deaths. 

  • Anonymous

    Politically, I disagree with almost everything Charlie Summers stands for…and I am most definitely NOT a Democrat, either.  And, I almost qualify as a senior.

    But sometimes, some common sense might come forth, even from Charlie, if he isn’t grandstanding. (a Nov.2nd Summit, Charlie???)

    Here is the thing, you can be a poor driver at any age. 

    If, as a society we are truly interested in road safety, we need to retest after the initial license. (not just “renew” every four years, instead of six–what does that solve?)

    Why not do it on a periodic schedule that is easy to remember: ten year anniversaries from your very first license?

    Thus, start at age 16 for example.   Then, at age 26 you get another written, vision (BTW, a REAL vision test, by a licensed optometrist!), and road test.  

    Same at ages 36, 46, 56, 66, 76, 86, 96, 106, etc. , or 10 year anniversaries of whatever age you started.  If you fail, you have 30 days to study up, get retrained, get new eyeglasses so you might pass the tests again.

    People can be a menace on the road at any age: drinking/drug problems, arrogance, inexperience, simple lack of knowledge.

    Expensive, you say?  Factor the cost of hospital bills, rehab, police, ambulance, fire, road workers, etc.  Not to mention deaths.   What is THAT cost?

    Within a generation or two, the culture behind the wheel would change, and people would stop thinking they could drive * just fine after a few drinks…* and other poor presumptions.

    If we are truly serious about road safety….and not just grandstanding.

  • Anonymous

    Lets all us seniors vote to keep Summers as Secretary of State instead of a US Senator.  It seems he knows to much of whats good for us and being a senator would give him to much power for our own good. 

  • Melora

    I love my elders but there are some out there who are not of the “much more respect” generation.  I remember having a minor accident (both of us backed out at the same time–the couple were probably in their 70’s or 80’s, the elderly man was driving).  I also had my infant in the back carseat so had to make sure he was okay.  We both inspected our cars–no scratches, all looked good.  I offered my insurance information–as the driving manual tells us to do so even if its a mutual accident–and the elderly gent didn’t.  He wasn’t very talkative either, but I didn’t think much of it.  Few days later I get a letter saying my insurance company couldn’t get a hold of me and so I couldn’t dispute their claim that they had damage.  Honestly–they had NO damage, not a scratch!  But they put up a claim and get hundreds of dollars for “repairs” and I was unable to dispute it because there was apparently only a 24 hour window to do so.  Honest, I don’t think so.  And they didn’t even ask if I was okay or the baby was okay when he was crying.  Really selfish.

  • Anonymous

    My mom is 80 and she’s the designated driver for all of her friends, some of whom are younger than her.  She’s still an excellent driver- I’d rather ride with her than I would my nieces and nephews.   Years ago, when I worked as a paramedic, our offices were right next door to a bank’s branch office.  We were sitting around on a slow day and the phone rang.  A teller from next door was frantic as she related that “a man just went over the bank”.  We were all thinking it was someone skydiving but when we went outside we discovered that it was an elderly man (80’s).  This old codger had apparently hit the gas instead of the brake.  He jumped a guardrail and went right down over the embankment.  He came to rest up against a tree, which was lucky, because he was only 5 feet from the river!  The guy was totally confused and didn’t even know his name by that point.  We all had a good laugh in what could have been a tragedy.

  • Anonymous

    Now, being on the road a lot, I am going to tell you, the most dangerous drivers to be near are the out of staters with there brand new Jap cars attached to your rear bumper, whatever the speed limit is, 75 is there’s, and do not tell me this is not true. Been there.

  • Anonymous

    Checking vision as part of driver’s license renewal doesn’t scare me. But I think the exam should be performed by an ophthalmologist rather than a BMV clerk. Just because you can see a road sign doesn’t mean you’re fit to drive at night, or have adequate peripheral vision, or you’re not losing vision due to bad retinas etc.

  • Henderson bobby

    Sometimes a 16 year old can walk away without a scratch the would kill an 80 year old. Please all the Facts not just the number games.

  • Anonymous

    If Charlie told me the sun was up, I would go outside to see for myself!  I see the percentages of seniors involved in accidents.  SHOW ME the number of those accidents CAUSED by seniors.  Figures never lie, but liars always figure!  Maybe a significant number of those seniors were passengers, which is not uncommon.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never had an oldster tailgating me.  Kids? Yeah, all the time. They’re the ones who scare me.

  • Anonymous

    Two fine looking citizens, trying their best to stay out of traffic and not have to deal with senior citizens.  If I were the boss of the world I would banish everyone over 62.  Afterall we are untrustworthy, we are unable to drive properly, we are slow, we use too many medicines and we are taking up room that could be used by the “Me” generation, welfare recipients, druggies and those who know more than us about living in general.  There must be an expanse of wilderness they can send us all to.  Our fine socialist living in the white house should be able to solve this problem as he has solved the problem of jobs, fuel costs, religious people, affordable education, the oil pipeline, the national debt, etc.

  • Anonymous

    One last comment of fact on this subject:  In my 30 years as a police officer, I worried more about distracted drivers then anything else, and believe me when I say they were not the elderly.  Younger people fixing their hair, putting on make-up, lighting up cigarettes, texting and tuning radios and of course druggies and drunks were prevalent reasons for the accidents.  Were there motorists who were senior citizens?  Yes, of course, but they were not in the majority.

    • Anonymous

      Just about every day I see people racing me to a crosswalk so they don’t have to stop while I walk across.  Every day I see people ignoring the speed limit and many don’t even stop at stop signs.  I’ve even seen people on cell phones blast through stop signs without even slowing down. Then there are the people on the highway who go 80-90 mph and cut me off as THEY enter the highway.  In just about everyone of the cases above it’s people under 55 years of age.  But lets pick on the elderly and let everyone else do what they want to.  To be quite frank I’ve never seen so many rude, self centered people, aggressive people on the roads as I have in the last 20 years.

    • Anonymous

       If you were an ex-police officer, you ought to know how to conduct a public discourse.  This comment is fine.  What is up with some of your other ones?  They are just plain, blatant trolling.

      We could have some spirited, but valuable discussions out here, but no, we have to get into the foolishness you’ve expressed elsewhere.

      So which is it?  Are you a 60-something ex-police officer, or a relatively bright 19 year-old that thinks it is fun to troll, or are you someone who just works out life’s frustrations out here?

  • Eric J Foster

    If the elderly, or even all auto drivers, were persecuted and harassed as much as a CDL holder…

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t just catorgorize seniors,   all drivers should pay attention when driving without distractions such as……texting, phone conversations, putting on makeup, combing hair,  reading the morning paper,  looking at maps while driving, and just not looking for other traffic at intersections and NOT following the RIGHT OF WAY LAWS.  

    Those left hand turns in front of motorcycles or anyone else is life threatening.   I know,  this happed to me…..  I have personally seen every item I mentioned……and perhaps one person out of the rest was a senior citizen,  while the rest were  young and middle age people…

  • Anonymous

    Don’t judge all seniors,  because  seniors  will not be able to depend on their children to drive them anywhere,  let alone visit them when they need something done.   Don’t judge every senior because of one senior making a mistake!   REMEMBER  the insurance industry would just love to attack seniors.    If this happens to your parents,  are you going to be there?

  • Scott Harriman

    “Sometimes older drivers come to a dead stop in merging lanes. “They’re
    trying to be careful,” Freund said. “The same when turning left.””

    I thought yielding to traffic with the right of way was the appropriate behavior.

    Are we supposed to ignore “yield” signs when merging and just barge into the road?  Make left turns directly in front of oncoming traffic so we don’t come to a stop?

  • Can’t be any worse than teens or Somolian drivers

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