Create a curfew for senior citizens drives

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Reference no: EM13859186

What should be done about senior citizen drivers?

I Define Terms

A. Senior Citizen: an elderly person, usually older than 60-65 years of age ("Senior Citizens").

B. Cognition: refers "to the mental processes involved in gaining knowledge and comprehension. These processes include thinking, knowing, remembering, judging, and problem-solving" (Cherry).

C. Electronic Stability Control: a system "designed to reduce untripped rollovers and mitigate severe understeer or oversteer conditions that lead to loss of control by using automatic computer-controlled braking and reducing engine torque output" ("Electronic Stability Control").

D. Forward Collision Avoidance Systems: monitor traffic in front a vehicle and warn the driver of potential collision. It senses relative speed and distance between vehicles and will alert the driver if it believes a collision could happen. Some systems have autonomic brake systems that will brake to reduce the severity of the crash or prevent it all together ("Crash avoidance features by make and model").

E. Adaptive Headlights: active lights pivot the beam in the direction the driver is traveling to help them see better on dark, curved roads ("Crash avoidance features by make and model").

II Analyze the Problem

A. Who is affected by senior citizen drivers?

1. Any driver or passenger on the road

2. However, in terms of fatalities, senior citizen drivers are more of a danger to themselves and their passengers than they are to others on the road ("Older Drivers").

a. Senior citizens are more vulnerable to injuries ("Older Drivers").

B. What are the causes of accidents with senior citizen drivers?

1. Physical, cognitive, and/or visual impairment

a. Several studies have shown that the types of impairment mentioned above are associated with an increased risk of crash involvement ("Older Drivers").

b. Eyes need three times as much light at age 60 to see as they did at age 20 ("Light Requirements").

c. Some medication or a combination of medication can impair a driver's ability to drive safely do to side effects ("Medical Conditions & Medications").

d. Hearing loss is a common condition in older adults according to the National Institutes of Health ("Hearing").
(1) 1/3 of Americans over 65 years of age are affected by hearing loss ("Hearing").

e. As people age, their brain needs more time to process information and people tend to forget things as they age ("Mind & Cognition").
(1) Since the brain need more time to process information in older people, this also slow reactions time especially while driving. Older drivers are unable to process information from different sources fast enough to make a good judgment call while driving. This creates dangerous situations on the road ("Reaction Time").

2. Senior citizen drivers are more likely to be involved in angle crashes, overtaking or merging crashes, and especially intersection crashes ("Older Drivers").

3. The most common error of senior citizen drivers is a failure to yield the right-of-way ("Older Drivers").

4. According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute, drivers 65 and older have a higher percentage of multiple-vehicle intersection crashes than drivers 65 and younger. However drivers 65 and older had a lower or mid-level percentage of other multiple-vehicle crashes, single-vehicle intersection crashes, and other single-vehicle crashes than younger drivers ("Older Drivers").

a. This could be because older drivers are less likely to be driving under the influences or have distractions such as cell phones, friends, and loud music.

C. What methods are in place for solving the issue of senior citizen drivers?

1. Restrictions generally occur when drivers apply for license renewal ("Older Drivers").

a. They may have to have evaluations by licensing agencies based on referrals from police, physicians, or families ("Older Drivers").

b. States may also have policies for further testing such as vision screening, road tests, knowledge tests, and/or evaluations by medical advisory boards ("Older Drivers").

2. Advanced technology has help protect older drivers and help them drive more safely.

a. Bigger and brighter displays and controls ("Older Drivers").

b. Electronic stability control has helped to reduce single-vehicle fatal crashes ("Older Drivers").

c. Forward collision avoidance systems and adaptive headlights have proved to be effective in reducing insurance claims ("Older Drivers").

3. Nineteen states have accelerated renewal for driver's license.

4. Some states have other requirements such as not being able to renew electronically by a certain age but only by mail if a physician certifies they are mentally and physically competent to drive ("Older Drivers").

5. A study has shown that cheap modifications to intersections (including making traffic signals more visible and adding a dedicated left-turn lane) has a 13% reduction in injury crashes per licensed drivers for drivers 65 and older compared to drivers ages 25-64 ("Older Drivers").

6. Another study showed that intersections that were converted to roundabouts reduced injury crashes by 76% ("Older Drivers").

D. How severe are the problems with senior citizen drivers?

1. In 2011, deaths involving at least one driver 70 or older were 62 percent compare to deaths involving at least one driver age 30-39

which was 47 percent ("Older Drivers").

2. According to a graph provided by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute, titled "Motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 people by age and gender" shows that senior citizen drivers have some of the highest rate except for drivers 20-24 years of age who have the highest at 18.5 percent ("Older Drivers").

3. In 2011, the rate of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people was commonly higher for drivers 75 and older than for drivers younger than 75 ("Older Drivers").

E. What is the history of senior citizen drivers?

1. Deaths per 100,000 people 70 and older have decreased from 25.9% in 1975 to 14.2% in 2011 ("Older Drivers").

2. Motor vehicle crash death rates per 100,000 people increased at ages 70-75 among males and ages 65-69 in females in 2011 ("Older Drivers"). This is similar with data from 2005 ("Older Drivers").

III Standards/Criteria

A. The solution should involve senior citizens and law enforcement as well as the families of senior citizens and really the entire nation since everyone is affected by senior citizen drivers.

B. The solution should include improving situations and driving conditions for senior citizen drivers.

C. The solution should include every state. Either each state has their own rules or the entire country has rules to follow.

D. The solution should benefit both non-senior citizen driver and senior citizen drivers.

IV Possible Solutions

A. Senior citizens should have to have a physical and mental exam yearly starting at age 60. If they fail a part of the exam and the problem cannot be reversed, they should no longer have a driver's license.

B. All states should improve road conditions. This includes improved road signs through lettering, size, and color; more left turning lanes with left turning traffic signals; and more roundabouts instead of traditional intersection.

C. Make public transportation more accessible to reduce the number of senior citizen drivers.

D. Create a curfew for senior citizens drives similar to drivers under 18 years of age in certain states.

V Best Solution

A. The best solution is a mixture of possible solutions. Every state should set aside money to improve road signs, add left turning lanes,

and more roundabouts.

B. Each state should enforce some regulation about physical and mental exams. How often and at what age to start can be different

with each state.

C. Each state should also enforce some type of curfew for senior citizen drivers

VI Implementing and Testing

A. To test this solution, each state should try road improvements in areas of high crash rate and observe if the rate decreases

B. A few different states should temporarily enforce a curfew to see if that aids in the reduction of senior citizen vehicle accidents.

C. Each state should enforce some type of regulation for physical and mental exams to determine if it would help in reducing accidents involving senior citizen drivers and if so it will help the states determine at what age and how often these exams should take place.

Reference no: EM13859186

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