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To Drive or Not to Drive -

 
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Old 29-Jun-2012, 05:05 PM (17:05)     1        45263
Shadowfox
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Default To Drive or Not to Drive -

A few years back I quit driving. I'd had the AARP senior driving seminar just the fall before which included a section on how to determine if one is still a safe driver, the homework being to source out all forms of transport available.

I saw the car insurance went up at age 75 (at least for my insuror); so I made the choice to stop at that age. But my car quit a few years before. Ok, fine with me. I quit then, too, and sold the car to a neighbor who worked on cars. While it would have no doubt cost me arm and leg to repair, he spent 56 bucks on the starter for him and his son to install.

Did I lose my independence as some said? No way. I am much more content now to no longer have carowner's blues! And do have quit a bit more money for fun than I used to have. Let the others do the driving in this hustle/bustle metro area where there is quite a bit of road rage. It being a metro area, I do have many sources of transport besides friends and neighbors, many of which are low cost and even free! I have a weekly shopping buddy, book/movie delivery from the library Outreach Service, free delivery of dog supplies from my friendly local dog/cat supply non chain store, pickup service from my vet for the dog.

I've no longer that desire to wander, to roam around, and have done all the travel I ever want to! I'm quite content in my little house on the prairie.

Now I do know many oldsters who say with great pride, "I'm (x) years old and I still drive." Yeh, such as that 95 year old man in California who drove right into a crowd of people and killed 9. Or many older acquaintances who have wrecked their cars, who can barely walk, who are too arthritic to turn their necks, who are too slow reacting. Who are, in short, unsafe drivers but too proud to give up what they see as their independence.

For me, it is a point of pride to say I quit before I found I was unsafe after I hurt or killed someone. Maybe if I were living somewhere back of beyond with no available transport, I'd still drive in the far less traffic than here.

I remember Thatcher once said that any man after the age of 30 who took the bus was a loser.

Anybody else out there who doesn't drive? For whatever reason? Never started, quit. Anybody who will never give up driving for whatever reason?
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Old 29-Jun-2012, 07:15 PM (19:15)     2        45264
Makbawehuh
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*raises hand* I only drove for a couple years- I started late due to watching a friend plow head-on into a truck full of migrant workers when I was fifteen- but would probably have kept up the driving if my double vision hadn't kicked in again.

Seeing two of anything on the road makes for highly dangerous driving. If you don't know which yellow line you're supposed to stay to the right of, you probably shouldn't be on the road. If you have to take your attention completely off the road in order to check your mirrors, you probably should not be on the road.

It's taken me... Up till very recently, to get my parents (who are very big on having me driving and "independent") to realize that I have a *very* narrow corridor in which I can see one of anything, and outside that corridor, my vision is basically useless. My typical response to their "So, when are you going to start driving again?" questions, has historically been "When you start feeling like paying for strangers funerals."

They decided they actually wanted to have a conversation about this last year.
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Old 29-Jun-2012, 10:25 PM (22:25)     3        45267
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Anything good come from that convo yet?

Do you still have a drivers' license? Could you pass the vision test? Just curious so if you want me to buzz off, I'm okay with that.

Earlier this year I went in, thanks to a good friend who drove me over, to the drivers' license place and turned in my DL. Got a state ID and it's free! Well, if you're over 60 or disabled - so wahoo I qualify on both counts. And that's just another good thing about not driving - not having to pay for a DL!

And good for you that you recognize that you're not a safe driver with the vision problems and don't drive by choice. Too bad tho there's not more transport options for you there. And you're still so young and wanting to get out and about I bet. At 76, been there done that you know the rest.
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Old 02-Jul-2012, 11:03 AM (11:03)     4        45274
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I do and I can. The thing is, as long as they give me the vision test while I'm standing still, I'm fine. If you were to try and administer it while I'm moving (as in a car), I would fail it miserably. I've been turned down for jobs in the past because I didn't have a license, so if I can keep one as a "just in case/emergency" measure (or so that I can *get* a job if I somehow lose the one I've got!), that's my preference. I just recognize that there's a big difference between "I could potentially get by" and "being safe for everyone."

And, thanks. I'm not much of an "out" person, but yes, there's things I'd like to do once in a while that there's just no way I could, because of transport issues.

On the financial note: The driver's license itself isn't such a huge financial burden, but ugh, insurance! So, so glad I'm not paying that anymore. That was a royal pain in the ass, and one I in no way miss.
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