Is it time for you, or someone you love, to hand over the car keys? This quiz could help make this decision a little less difficult.
Congratulations - you have completed Driving Quiz. You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
Very few older people are willing to limit their driving unless they’re forced to.
Question 1 Explanation:
As people age, many voluntarily cut back on driving because they no longer feel entirely confident behind the wheel. They stay home in bad weather or during rush hour or drive only in daylight and on familiar, local roads. In spite of these self-limits, older drivers have more fatal accidents per mile driven than any age group except those under 25. On the other hand, there’s a potential health risk when individuals 65 and over stop driving or use their cars only for the essentials—to get to the grocery store, for example. When cut off from friends and family, people can become depressed or develop other medical problems.
Fatal car crashes involving adults 70 and older have increased since the 1990s.
Question 2 Explanation:
Among people over 70, deaths from car accidents actually dropped by an impressive 21 percent between 1997 and 2006, with an even steeper decline for drivers 80 and over, according to a 2008 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). IIHS researchers suggest several possible explanations. First, some older people may be driving newer, safer cars. Second, many limit their trips for safety’s sake and avoid driving at night, in rush hours or on icy roads. Finally, today’s older drivers are healthier and more physically fit than previous generations and have better access to health care. They may be less likely to die in a crash and may also be better drivers because they’re not as hampered by disabilities. Even their travel patterns may be different. They may spend more time on highways, which, statistics tell us, are actually safer for an older driver than many local roads.
Older drivers are most likely to have an accident during daylight, in good weather and on local roads.
Question 3 Explanation:
The statement seems counterintuitive, but researchers believe it reflects the fact that, for safety’s sake, many older people avoid driving in bad weather, after dark and on high-speed highways. If they crash, it’s generally not because of poor driving conditions. However, their preference for local roads is sometimes unfortunate. Highways are often safer because they have few, if any, intersections. Drivers 60 and over are much more likely than others to have an accident at an intersection, particularly while making a left turn. When turning left, they have to keep track of pedestrians and other traffic, watch the stoplight, judge the distance and speed of oncoming cars and, finally, make a decision to go—perhaps pressured by the knowledge that others are waiting impatiently behind them. That can be a daunting task at any age, but particularly for those who are aware that they react more slowly and have poorer vision than they once did.
Weak leg muscles in an older driver are a warning sign that the individual may be accident-prone.
Question 4 Explanation:
The Maryland Research Consortium has identified physical and mental abilities that tend to decline with age and can increase the risk of a car crash. Loss of leg strength turned out to be important, along with difficulty in turning the head and neck. In addition, poor vision was extremely significant. Drivers need to see well enough to be able to scan the environment rapidly and spot potential threats with their peripheral vision, even as they focus on what lies straight ahead. Something called “working memory” also counts. It’s the capacity to keep in mind things like driving directions and traffic regulations while paying attention to the traffic.
Older people should question their own driving abilities if others often honk at them.
Question 5 Explanation:
People of any age who often get traffic tickets, have fender benders or annoy other drivers to the point where they lean on their horns need to recognize that when they drive, they may be risking a car crash. If you or a family member fits this description, that doesn’t mean you must stop driving. Instead, a logical first step would be to arrange for an evaluation by a certified driving rehabilitation specialist. Your problems may be easily fixed by something as simple as buying new eyeglasses or loosening up a stiff neck with physical therapy. Specially designed computer exercises can speed up reaction time and improve your ability to scan visually.
Statistics show that few adults 50 and over who limit or stop driving become avid users of public transport.
Question 6 Explanation:
Public transit is scarce or even nonexistent in many places, such as rural areas where numerous retirees choose to settle. In addition, by the time people stop driving, quite a few have physical difficulties using public transportation. The nearest train or bus stop may be too far to walk, especially in bad weather. Even if it’s nearby, going up or down stairs to a subway or train platform can be difficult, and climbing onto and off a bus may be next to impossible.
Most Americans will eventually stop driving.
Question 7 Explanation:
According to a 2002 study by the National Institute on Aging, the average American man in his early 70s will outlive his ability to drive by about six years, and the average woman of the same age will outlive hers by approximately a decade. Every year more than 600,000 older people stop driving, many of them at about the age of 85. The researchers report that 70 percent of women in their early 70s are still behind the wheel, but that drops to just 22 percent of those 85 and over. Men age out of driving more slowly: 88 percent are on the road in their early 70s, compared to 55 percent at 85 and up.
Senior transportation programs that use volunteer drivers have yet to catch on in the United States.
Question 8 Explanation:
There are more than 1,000 Supplemental Transportation Programs for Seniors (STPs) around the country, and the number keeps growing. Most are nonprofit, and many use volunteer drivers. An STP serves older people and others who need transportation and find it hard to take public transit. Prairie Hills Transit of South Dakota provides rides within a region more than seven times the size of Rhode Island. The TRIP program in Riverside, CA, is designed for low cost and simplicity. It offers small stipends to nondriving seniors and people with disabilities to pay those (usually family and friends) whom they recruit to drive them. The Independent Transportation Network (ITN) of Portland, ME, uses both volunteer and paid drivers to provide rides 24 hours a day. ITN is supported partly by riders’ fees but also by contributions from families and the community. Under the auspices of ITNAmerica, this model is being replicated today in many towns and cities across the country.
Drivers who fail an evaluation by a certified driving rehabilitation specialist (CDRS) automatically lose their licenses.
Question 9 Explanation:
The goal of such an evaluation is to keep the individual driving—safely—for as long as possible. Clients are tested in an office or clinic and then on the road. Afterward, the CDRS might suggest that someone drive only in daylight or have special auto equipment installed, such as wide-angle mirrors. The driving specialist usually sends evaluation results to the client’s family doctor. In some states, a specialist or a doctor who concludes that a person is no longer safe behind the wheel is required to contact the state motor vehicle agency, which might order further testing and can eventually revoke a license.
The best time to suggest that a parent stop driving is right after a well-publicized accident involving an older driver.
Question 10 Explanation:
Older people tend to be defensive at such times because the media often make an issue of a driver’s advanced age, whether or not it has any bearing on an accident. The best time to talk to someone about his or her driving is when there’s no problem, says Jeff Finn, formerly a transportation expert at of the American Society on Aging. It’s easier then to persuade them to make changes—to reduce the amount of driving they do or to think about how they’ll get around once they can no longer drive. Before broaching the subject, you might do some research on transportation alternatives. When you talk to the person, you should realize that the prospect of no longer driving could cause anxiety. Many people fear losing their independence and the statistics bear them out: loneliness and depression can overtake those who have stopped driving.
Once you are finished, click the button below. Any items you have not completed will be marked incorrect.
There are 10 questions to complete.