Driving School of Florida comments on recent auto accidents involving the elderly, "As we age are we less safe drivers?"

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When considering a driver's safety and skill level, age can and should be considered from both aspects of the spectrum, as national attention is given to teen drivers due to less experience behind the wheel. "Seasoned" and elderly drivers (and their families) should consider evaluation of their skills and a refresher course.

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Ending their permission to drive might be one outcome but some of the safest drivers I have seen are those that would be considered elderly.

Recently in Bradenton, Florida an elderly woman backed out of a church parking lot and the events that followed, killed three people, and significantly injured four other people with the vehicle ending up in a pond. Read more on CNN It is seriously doubted that it was on her “things to do” list for that day but many people were enraged that the elderly are allowed to drive when obviously she was an accident waiting to happen!

Do you know someone, relative or acquaintance, that is suspect in their ability to operate a vehicle? Are you afraid to share that information with them because you might hurt their feelings or harm a relationship? As our nation ages these are questions that not only need to be asked but openly and proactively addressed. These questions will not self-correct either.

Louis Pasteur is noted to have said “Chance favors the prepared mind”. This is very true with regard to driving an automobile.

As a driving instructor and driving school owner Steve Dziadik has been asked similar questions many times. “I assure you that the answer is not simple and it appears to have little to do with chronological age. What I do know from my experiences with drivers aged from 15 to 92 is one answer does not fit everyone that sits behind a wheel.” Says Dziadik, owner of Driving School of Florida, in Sarasota FL.

To use a particular age to label people’s capabilities is nothing short of profiling, unfair and absolutely unjust. Every person that gets older will experience a change in many bodily and brain functions. Virtually all of these can be effectively managed if they are proactively dealt with. However they need to be assessed BEFORE they experience events that are not reversible.

Not everyone that texts while driving will kill themselves or someone else and laws do not stop people intent on doing it. Any threshold age for a driver is also not a complete predictor for their capabilities behind an automobile’s steering wheel.

“What I find is that when people of any age are objectively evaluated while driving, especially by an experienced, qualified and impartial individual, that the precursors for unfavorable events can be identified and selectively corrected. Ending their permission to drive might be one outcome but some of the safest drivers I have seen are those that would be considered elderly. Additionally some of these same drivers have well-constructed “bad” habits that can be made better.” says Dziadik.

Take the time to look at those around you that might benefit from such an evaluation. Call Driving School of Florida 941-926-9650 (http://www.DrivingSchoolFl.com) and let our instructors be the “bad guys”, if necessary, but waiting and hoping for a good outcome will not stop what is stoppable.

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Steve Dziadik
since: 03/2013
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Driving School of Florida
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