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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dementia crash: teen's family pleads for law change

In the UK, an 89-year-old man drove the wrong way on a freeway, causing a collision that killed 19-year-old Charlotte Pitwell. It was later revealed that the man suffered from dementia. As a result of the accident, Ms. Pitwell's family is determined that the law must be changed to restrict older drivers.

Click here to read the story.

I admit that on the few occasions I have been driven somewhere by my 90-year-old uncle, I watch his driving carefully, looking for signs that he shouldn't be behind the wheel. He, however, doesn't have dementia. No doubt his reactions are slower than they used to be when he was flying with the RAF, but otherwise he still exhibits very safe driving.

Loss of a driver's license is a big deal to seniors. It's a loss of independence. It's a confirmation that life is being down-sized to accommodate aging. And let's face it, none of us likes to be told what we can and cannot do, especially by our children.

Should the law tell us when we should stop driving, or should that be something that is voluntarily regulated by each of us? Read this article and see what you think.

4 comments:

  1. So true. This is how we come to find out my dad had Dimentia. After a few driving infraction, the last ended up wit him in jail. Court stayed his charges on condition he seek doctor testing. He had a very difficult time accepting he couldn't drive. After a year and a half struggle to get help for my parents, dad is waiting for long-term care and mom deemed incompetent now in rest home.

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  2. Being in jail is bad enough for anyone, I would say, but I can't imagine how bad it would be with the added element of dementia.

    Lynne

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  4. In all fairness they wanted it so if you are over a certain age checks would occur to make sure you dont have a illness like this one, and maybe if that law was there to prevent this case then a 19 year old with their whole future ahead of them wouldnt die

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