Old Driver

Should Old People be Banned from Driving?

Back when I first started Automoblog.net, I wrote a post about the elderly and what restrictions should be placed on them regarding driving. Clearly this is an issue on the roads, and people had many opinions to share regarding the issue. I would like to revisit the post, and hear some more opinions regarding the matter.

In the time since that post was written, I’ve personally experienced more bad situations regarding the issue, and I’m sure many of my readers have as well.

Should elderly drivers be banned from driving? Many seem to think so. Motorinsurance.co.uk, an online insurance broker reported that 49% of drivers want elderly drivers banned. Paul Cosh is the managing director of MotorInsurance, and had a few comments on which I would like to comment:

“I do not think that picking on this nation’s most careful and experienced drivers is really the answer.

Yeah, my dad was awesome at football back in his day. He’s very experienced, that doesn’t mean he should still do it.

“To be honest, the views shown by this poll are quite shocking and simply do not stand up against the facts.

“Of course increased age brings its challenges, but healthy older drivers typically try to compensate for deficiencies. If anything, they also drive more carefully and avoiding risk-taking in general.

“To suggest that older drivers are a danger on the roads is a statistically unfounded stereotype and if anyone wants to debate the safety record of an 80 year-old compared with the average 20 year-old, my door is always open.”

The point is, I know for a fact that old people are a danger on the roads. I have seen many accidents (some involving people I know) that were caused by nothing but an incompetent old person not paying attention, and not having the reaction times necessary to avoid a potentially dangerous situation, making it worse.

Old Driver

Paul Cosh, who I quoted above is clearly an idiot, but banning old people from driving completely seems a little bit extreme. But what about people who can’t react in a timely manner, can’t make reasonable decisions, and can’t see or hear as well as other drivers? Allowing them on the road as freely as anybody else is as ridiculous as allowing drunk drivers on the road.

I’ve been in one accident and have otherwise had very close situations in which I had to make fast decisions as to what to do, and only one has been from a drunk driver. The others from old people who didn’t know what they were doing, and I would be surprised if they knew where they were. Disclaimer: I do not have anything against old people, and I hate drunk drivers. I don’t want you to take the last paragraph the wrong way. I just have a problem with old people driving.

So back to the solution. What to do? Like I said above, banning them all from the road completely is extreme, but allowing them all to drive is ridiculous. I propose that beginning at age 65 (maybe 70,) the driver takes a strict driving test every year. Obviously this will keep the dangerous ones off the road, and the competent ones can still drive.

A few states already implement something like this, like Rhode Island who requires drivers over 70 to renew their licenses every two years but take only the standard vision test. However, I think it should be more thorough. Illinois requires road tests for drivers over 75 who want to renew their licenses, while 15 other states have an accelerated renewal schedule. At least five states have stopped mail-in renewals for older drivers. But that’s obviously not enough.

What are your opinions on this? Do you think all people over a certain age should be banned, or do you think everybody should have the right to drive? What age should we start requiring testing, and how frequent should the testing be?

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  1. I agree that there needs to be stronger laws in place regarding older drivers. My mother just renewed her license today (she's almost 70) and I was hoping she wouldn't pass the eye test. They allowed her to try again with her bifocals and she passed. She really scares me but there's nothing I can do about it.

  2. YES all states should test olderly people over the age 65 its bad enough we have to watch out for the drunks i myself was ercently involved in an accident with an olderly of 80 yrs. old and she didnt know what she was doing and also ran from the scene leaving me the thought of what the hell

  3. In my expert opinion, we are all good drivers, and we are not lately dangerous. No laws should be passed, and we should not be made to pass a test to have a basic right. You are fascists! I hate you all who disrespect us! You get on the roads with your fast cars, listening to your rock and/or roll, and your fancy technology! You have no respect! I hate you all! All of you! Except you. You will all become once, and then you will know how it feels like!

    PS I hate it when people pretend on this sort of internet web page, all those kids mucking about. Why back in the day…

  4. Hmmm, it amazes me how much people these days spend HATING old people. Granted, I have seen some bad drivers of old age but some very bad young drivers. I have not posted on here in a while. I see the day where people's knee jerk reaction will be "the old people can't drive and they are costing us all too much in healthcare so we just need to send them all out on a boat and sink it". That seems to be the attitude these days and it is deplorable.

    However, I do agree that some old people should not be on the road driving. A few years ago I worked at a cardiology practice where we had quite a few elderly patients. Some of them were taking a laundry list of medications that would have massive side effects for anyone. Many of these people could not see well, had a hard time walking and could barely sign their name on a piece of paper. Yet they DROVE to our office. LOL How ridiculous is that!

    Now, I know that for a lot of elderly people they are afraid to give up driving because they lose a lot of independence. Also, many times family are not available to give rides and also most cities do not have any kind of reasonable alternative to cars for transportation to such places.

    Young of the world (including myself) need to stop stomping on the elderly though. All of this hate is unnecessary. Poor driving aside there are times that we need set aside our arrogant "know it all" attitude and hear at least some of the things that older people have to say. Thats not to say that you have to listen to the segment of older people who still cling to outdated ideas about race, social status, religion, etc. However, there is a whole proportion of the elderly population who are not like that and who do have life experience and wisdom that they would love to share and could share with all of us. Throwing away the "old people" of society is a common attitude. I think it is awful. You are still talking about human beings not just someone who needs to be kicked to the curb and left for dust.

  5. We’re just talking about driving, John, not dropping them off into the woods. If middle-aged people had the same problems, we’d be talking about them in the same way.

  6. They are human and under the human rights they are entitled to be allowed certain rights like the right to drive. It is wrong as one day everyone gets old and it isn't nice for them to be denied that right as it is some old peoples enjoyment to drive a car.


      1. you are well off mark, just cause people are older they have more experience than you. Dont stereotype and if what you say is true then you should offer help to someone not abuse their confidence you self obsessed cow!

        Obvs you just feel sorry for yourself or relly up your own arce i mean come on katie price. Doubt you look like her tbh probably just an ugly wreck!

        1. Well they should be able to drive if they can drive safely. Some might have more experience but if they can’t use that experience because they don’t remember it or if they forget where they are, they should not drive. Not saying all have memory problems, but some do, it’s those elderly people who should not be driving

    2. actually driving is a privilege not a right. you have the right to take the driving exam but not to drive. if you don't pass the test you don't get a license and cannot drive.

  7. Plane and simple, if their reflexes are too slow to safely react to an emergency, they should not be allowed to drive. I work in a resturaunt and I see seniors who walk so unbelievably slow, and they run into stationary objects in the dining room… "If that were an oncoming car you'd be dead by now"

  8. i have just finished a bit of coursework about elderly people not being allowed to drive and this site really helped! thanks =) =]

    some points are quite good actually. personally i dont think that they should be allowed to drive if they are a hazard, but if they have had several different tests then maybe they should if they are good enough. although everybody should still be retested every so often. but if they fail then i dont think i would let them back on the road if i was the one doing the driving tests on the old people. thanks guys >.

  9. Well people over the age of 65-70 have a sloweer reaction to things and a different shade in their eyes with acts and a smalblind lens but doesn't make them blind completely but a disadvantage on the road. plus old people have the most record for damages and hitting people on the roads becuase of slow reactions and plus a couple of boy racers ages 17-25 have but they are new to the road is also has no link to old people though. I'm guissing if you're going to curse old people's driving get some facts before, but i still agree to ban people over the age of 70 from driving =)

  10. My brother was killed 18 years ago by a 73 year old driver who had been behind the wheel of the car all day, had no rest, not even stopped and then fell asleep. He was that stupid he thought he had hit a cone and just kept on driving, leaving my brother to be hit by two other cars.

    I have read articles over the years regarding old drivers, driving down the wrong side of the motorways, losing control of their car for no reason, crashing their car into houses, bus shelters, I could go on and on. Now I have just read a story about an old man, 89, who mounted a kerb and killed an 18 month old baby and critically injured the baby's mother.

    I feel that once you get to a certain age you should have certain tests, eyes, awareness, co-ordination and definitely another driving test. I am sure that if this was brought into effect there would be many people who would be saved, not families left mourning their loved ones all because someone who never had to pass a test is still in charge of a car.

    Get them off the roads.

  11. tell me what the difference between driving under the influence of non prescription drugs to driving with a cocktail of presciption drugs ( which clearly state on the packet not to drive ) is??? I drive for a living and can personally say have never had a near miss with a p plater who apparently is the main culpret of deaths on our roads, but not a day goes by when i need to make a split second decision because some competely oblivious old person behind the wheel of their camry has stopped in the middle of the road to give way to…..nobody!! it's been to long since they obtained their licence and rules have changed etc. i have seen one turn right ONTO a two lane roundabout??? WTF. something needs to be done!! they are not only endangering themselves but others too and are MOSTLY to stubborn to realise it and give up something they have been doing for years. i say bring on DRUG and driving tests for oldies and lets find out what sort of state of mind they are in when driving!!! nearly every prescription drug you can get causes drowsiness and they pop 10 a day for various conditions. at least when i'm sick i stay home in bed, not putting peoples lives in danger! wanna stay mobile??? get a mobility scooter and stay off the road!!!


      I just think that these old people need to RETAKE THEIR DRIVERS TEST, OR GET OFF THE DANG ROAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Very mature Billy – get off this site if you have nothing of importance to say, which you obviously don’t. Keep your foul mouth to yourself.

  12. i completely agree and my dad was working down the road from an accident where an 80 something year old lady hit a mother and her baby in a stroller, killed the mother, and injured the baby. this happened in toronto

  13. Oh dear, I see some irresponsible parent has been letting their child play on the computer. I think it's time for bed and let the grown ups interact with other grown ups.

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