Saturday, September 23, 2017


I work in aging.  I occasionally get asked for my opinion on stopping older drivers from driving.  I am vehemently opposed to ageism.  It is not age, but ability that matters.  Being a good driver, or a bad driver, a safe driver or a dangerous driver, is not a matter of age, but a matter of ability and ability is not tied to age once we reach maturity.  

I remember the day my grandfather stopped driving.  I was helping my grandmother in the kitchen. My grandfather went out to put the car in the garage. He bumped into the wall on one side, backed up, pulled forward and bumped the wall on the other side.  He backed up onto the driveway, shut the car off and came into the kitchen and dropped the keys on the counter and said, "if I can't get it in the garage, I shouldn't drive it anymore."  We had all thought for a year that he should stop driving, we had done all we could to make sure he didn't need to drive, but none of us had insisted that he stop.  It was his decision.  

A year ago I was talking with my father on the phone.  He had received some grave news from his doctors that week.  I was urging him to enjoy life, I said "if you always wanted to buy a red Ferrari convertible and cruise around town, now is the time to do it."  My point was do what ever you want to do, spend money on your enjoyment and comfort, you can't take it with you.  His response, was that he hadn't driven in a couple of months, and would probably let his drivers license expire that fall.  It was his decision.  We had debated telling him that he should stop, and I had urged leaving it up to him to decide.  

Do it while you can, enjoy it while you can, and when you know it is time to stop, you call the shot and stop.  

Would you buy the red Ferrari?  


  1. I would definitely not buy the red Ferrari. But I admire your father and grandfather for being honest with themselves and responsible individuals. I have a night who finally totaled her car at the age of 85 after driving with neuropathy in both feet for 30 years. She was apparently unable to feel the pedals for most of that time. Totally irresponsible.

  2. nope; a car is just a car. my grandmother never learned to drive; my grandfather quit at age 72 after a head injury.

  3. I'm with AM. I just need a car from point A to point B and any car will do.

  4. Nope, No Red Ferrari. However the navy blue one with a palomino interior might be an option.

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  6. It's not just the aged who have issues. About three years ago when I bought my new Masada 3 , not even a month old. I was at my mothers. She wanted to go to the store , so she got me up to move our cars around in the drive. After she pulled out and left, I backed my car in. Once in the carport part, I slowed down when I got near the fence. But then I put my foot down on the gas instead....went right through the high wood fence, and took out her the recycling and trash surround and part of her rose garden. I was sitting in her back yard. Stunned. At least Beethoven was playing in the radio. We actually had a good laugh when she got back. But she calls me her old man since.

    And no , no Ferrari for me.

  7. No Ferrari, here, either. If I had that kind of money I would take the Queen Mary II to the UK, spend several weeks there with a private driver to help me get around, and then take the same ship back. Of course, I would have to get myself from Indiana to NYC and back again to get to the ship. I doubt if it would sail down the Ohio or come to Lake Michigan.

  8. Anonymous9/23/2017

    You bet. I’d hire a hot chauffeur!

  9. Only if it gets good gas mileage. I am a pragmatic car owner
    Here in PHX the inability to drive is a sort of death-knell. Seniors will no sooner give up their driving than their R arm. Once a month I get some family member telling me to tell their parent don't drive anymore. I do and they go on driving.

    1. Can you report them to the DMV and trigger a review of their license? Would you want to?