To the Editor:
The unfortunate 81-year-old woman who triggered the three-car crash at State and Old County roads should consider relinquishing her driver’s license. The state legislature has dragged its feet in requiring elderly motorists to undergo more frequent testing for cognition, vision, and reaction time. The reason, in part, is that the politicians do not want to lose the votes of senior citizens, an important voting segment.
My late father, who prided himself on his unblemished driving record, totaled his car in a parking lot last year at the age of 91. Luckily, no one was injured, but if he had been traveling on a main thoroughfare, it could have been far worse. He or someone else might have been killed, or an injured party might have sued and taken his home. We met with his doctor, who said he should never drive again, due to his bad right hip and severely swollen legs (due to congestive heart failure).
Dad still was stubbornly resolute to get behind the wheel, so I concealed the keys to my car, as he wanted to drive it. A week after that doctor’s appointment, he died due to a heart attack, 12 days after his accident.
I urge anyone who is a caregiver for elderly loved ones to encourage them to reconsider the consequences of driving after a certain age. There are many and safer transportation options. Call your local Council on Aging, or if your loved one lives near Boston, call The Ride.