, Research Paper
David “Bucky” Stewart
3 December 1999
Annual Driving Tests for Senior Citizens
One problem when driving on the roads is when a person runs across another
person who should not be driving a car. Quite often, the person that should not be driving
is an older person. The problem occurs when the older people can not handle the car that
he or she is driving. Statistics have shown that older are involved in a high percentage of
wrecks when compared to other age groups. I feel that an annual driving test should be
required for everyone once he or she reaches a certain age. Many people may say that the
age chosen is arbitrary. I feel that once a person is old enough to retire, he or she should
be required to take an annual driving test. Most people retire because he or she has
worked for many years and does not have to work anymore. Why not give the people,
who do not need to work, an annual driving test to see if he or she still needs to be
driving? I hope I can convince the older people, that may need to take an annual driving
test, that an annual driving would be a very good idea.
This argument clearly has two sides. One side is the side that feels that an annual
driving test for people that have reached a certain age would help make the roads safer.
The people on the “driving test for older people” side also believe that an annual will get
many unsafe drivers off the roads. The opposing side is the side that feels that an annual
driving test is not needed. The opposing side may also feel that an annual driving test
would be a waste of time.
I am siding with the people for an annual driving test. My side is good because the
annual driving test will help get people that can not drive safely off the roads. Many
dangerous drivers would not be allowed to drive if he or she can not pass the annual
driving test. My first evidence is the fact that many older people can not handle a car
physically. My first fact is true because many older people become weaker with age and
diseases like arthritis set in.Not being able to handle a car physically would greatly
increase the chances of having a wreck. Secondly, because of a decline in vision, many
older people may not be able to see other cars. If an older person can not see the cars
around him or her, he or she is more likely to hit the other cars that are nearby. Next, as a
human gets older his or her reaction time slows down in many cases. People with a slow
reaction time would hit the car in front of him or her if the car in front of him or her had to
stop suddenly. My last argument is that some older people’s minds tend to wander more
as he or she gets older. In many cases, diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease will effect a
person’s jugdment, possibly impairing him or her from driving. A person could run a
redlight and possibly hit another person if he or she is not paying attention or if his or her
mind is wandering
The other side may say that the test is unnecessary because he or she is quite
capable of handling a car physically. This is a true statement, but the test is not designed
to punish the people who can handle a car. The test takes driving privileges away from
people who can not handle a car. Another argument the other side may use is that glasses
can be bought to fix a vision problem. This is also a true statement in most cases. There
are some cases, like my grandfather, where the vision problem can not be corrected in any
way. A good argument for the opposing side may be that older people can tell when he or
she needs to stop driving. This solution would be the best solution except that people
tend to be biased when judging himself or herself. Often, older people are stubborn about
when he or she has to judge himself or herself. I think most older people feel offended
when people start to question his or her abilities. The last argument the other side could
make is that the test would be a waste of time for those people that can pass the test. I
agree with this argument. The test would be a waste of time for the people that can pass
it. Taking the test is not that much to ask though, especially when the test gets the
dangerous drivers off the road. Getting dangerous drivers off the roads should be a
concern for every person that drives a car or even walks on the side walk. A dangerous
puts everybody at risk when he or she is driving.
The other side has many valid arguments but my side is better for three reasons.
My first reason that my side is better is that taking a test once a year is a small price to pay
for everybody’s safety. Many older people sit at home all day, or sit on his or her front
porch all day just because he or she has nothing else to do. The test would give some
older people something to do. The second reason my side is better is that the test can be
free. People should not have any problem taking a test that is free. If he or she is able to
drive and pass the test, then he or she can think of it as an accomplishment. My last
reason that my side is better is that the roads will be a safer place to drive on. When an
older person passes the annual driving test, he or she will keep his or her license. When an
older person fails the annual driving test, his or her license will be revoked. Every time a
license is revoked, an unsafe driver is taken off the roads.
In this argument, both sides make many strong points. If each point is looked at
closely, I am sure that older people will realize that an annual test would be a good thing.
My side shows that an annual test would not be too much of a burden for older people.
An annual driving test would not cost anything. The annual test would not take very long
either. My side also shows that the streets would become a safer place if an annual test
were required once a person reaches a certain age.