USA Today did a whole spread yesterday on elderly and driving. Stories on "Older, dangerous drivers a growing problem" and "When is it time to put the brakes on elderly" were very informative. The first piece talked about how those people over the age of 85 quadruple the amount of accidents that teens have. The stories they describe were horrendous. What was really eerie was that by coincidence a sport utility vehicle jumped a curb and plowed into a group of middle school students waiting for a bus on the same day as the newspaper article. The driver was in his 70s and though no one is talking there was no evidence of even a skid mark from his car.
Who is truly responsible for pulling people's licenses? As a physician in Maine, I send in tons of special forms to the state DMV for my patients. I am proud to say that I am part of the solution but I have to say it is the toughest thing to do. Elderly patients who get their licenses pulled hate us for it. It doesn't matter. We do it because it is right. We also need to be more aggressive because there is an upcoming surge in the elderly population . With this comes more problems and LAWSUITS! I believe physicians, and not the elderly drivers who ram into the open markets or schools, will be the prime targets of the attorneys who work for the victims. You heard it here first.