Problem !!! When do hang up the keys ???

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:29
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I have a friend who's notching up his 75th year on this planet and I suspect the poor bugger is slowly losing his marbles.

About a fortnight ago he invited me to go down to the city with him to pick up a few accessories for his new caravan.
Well, that was the hairyest ride I have ever been on.

He wasnt able to hold a straight line veering from verge to centerline the whole way, even crossing it at times.

His reaction times were so slow to amber traffic signals that most of the intesections were crossed after the red light.

He cut his left hand corners so badly that the near side tyres are nearly cut to pieces.

I'm convinced that we made it home only because everyone else had good brakes......whew !!!!

The problem is that this chap is a danger, not only to himself, but to other road users. I have broached the subject with him and, being the old school type he is, all the other drivers are in the wrong.

He will be taking his first caravan away on a trip to the South West of the state in a couple of months and I'm a little apprehensive at the prospect of him loose on our highways and bi-ways.

To tell a bloke he cant or shouldnt drive is like questioning his manhood, but to dob him in goes against everything I have been taught and believe in.

Any one had this problem and if so how did you deal with it ?

Cheers.....Lionel.
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Reply By: Member -Signman - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:32

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:32
And he's gonna be towing a caravan!!!! Geeeeeez....


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Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:35

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:35
And its his FIRST caravan as well !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Reply By: Member - Yikes... (WA) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:33

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:33
Well the nurse in me says ... find out who his GP is and tell him/her - they can not renew the clearence for his DL when it draws due

The Traveller in me saysand the licencing department.. who have ways of requesting a new dirvers test...

then refer to point one...

at least that way you keep him safe.. and the rest of us

I admire your concern, its a hard thing to do but worth it...

AnswerID: 308574

Reply By: Ray - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:37

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:37
He sounds like a lot of the 'P' platers around
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 10:44

Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 10:44
he is probably no worse than some P drivers!
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Reply By: The Geriatric Gypsies - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:41

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:41
mate its a bloody hard decision to make we had to tell my dad it was time we had some help from the court as he was involved in a minor accident and even though the other car hit him in bum the court said careless driving and time to hand in the licence
its bloody hard mate

steve
maybe you or another friend could offer to drive him and the van somewhere "until he gets a bit more practice off the main roads "
AnswerID: 308578

Reply By: Member - Mark G (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:42

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:42
as a profesional driver who has seen a lot of scary things on the road,he will fit right in and will blend in nicely.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phillip S (WA) - Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 11:04

Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 11:04
ROFL>>hahahahahahahaa
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Reply By: Cruiserman1961 (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:47

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:47
Send him to Queensland mate, we all drive like this......
He'll blend in nicely:)
Cheers, Udo
I think my get up and go, got up and went.

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Follow Up By: Cruiserman1961 (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:51

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:51
Seriously though, I do know how you feel. Maybe you can gather some support from his family to convince him to consider his driving future.
Its such a hard decision to make for you and him.
Good luck to you mate! I do not think you are a dobber at all, just someone who cares....
Cheers, Udo
I think my get up and go, got up and went.

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Follow Up By: Member - Mark G (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:52

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:52
definatley agree with ya there Cruiserman!!!!!!!!!!
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Follow Up By: Cruiserman1961 (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 19:00

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 19:00
Like your ute Mark, very nice machine! :)
I think my get up and go, got up and went.

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Follow Up By: Member - Mark G (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 19:34

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 19:34
thanks cruiserman,not bad rigs you've got either
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Reply By: Dave B (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:59

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:59
It is a hard decision when you go out with someone like that and you see first hand the reactions and the reaction time.

However, the way to think about it is,

"Would I like to see him coming towards me with my wife and kids in the car with me".

He is going to be driving past schools, against traffic with young families in the car, in some cases maybe a whole generation of a family in the one car.

Bloody scary thought!!!!

Dave
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Reply By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 19:17

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 19:17
The tougher issue is knowing what you should have done before the loss of life. The if only syndrome!
Do what you have to and sleep well at night. Forget the bullsh#t about dobbing in a mate before he robs someone of their loved ones! Ring the cops and ask them what they can do to assist. Cheers
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Follow Up By: Best Off Road - Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 09:18

Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 09:18
Spot on Leigh.

Jim.

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Reply By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 19:26

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 19:26
Thanks so far with the replies.

Many years ago I had the same problem with my dad. When I suggested his driving skills were not up to scratch he virtually disowned me.

It took a minor accident, luckily in a shopping car park, for him to realise it himself.
If he had the same accident at 90-100 kph there would have definitely been a fatality.

Also appreciate the humourous replies as some of the silly things this mate of mine does when not behind the wheel really crackes me up. Sort of cross between MR MAGOO and FRANK SPENCER.

Cheers.......Lionel.
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 07:52

Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 07:52
We all look but not all of us "see" everything around us.
A few years ago I took my aged mother for a drive and continually remarked on things we passed along the way with comments like " did you see that young kid on the bicycle" etc. Mum's answer was almost always - "no I missed that". I was soon able to point out to her that she was not "seeing" things around her that a competent driver should have seen. I told Mum that I was scared of her having an accident but she said that she only drove slowly down to the shops. I pointed out that it was not her I was worried about but any innocent pedestrian or a kid on a bike that may get hit. By helping Mum with her shopping and regularly taking her out I was soon able to wean her off taking her own car out and she stopped driving soon after.

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Reply By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 21:28

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 21:28
Hi Lionel, as another poster mentioned, maybe some assistance from his family, you might find that they are waiting for someone else to get through to him that it is time to hand that licence in.

Years ago we were transferred to a small country town where there was an elderly lady driving around the town like you just described, (this lady was the mother of a very prominent local) all the locals would pull over when they saw her coming up the road or getting into her car, (it didn't take me long to learn to do the same) Now hubby was in a position where he had to take people for their retests and all previous persons in that position would just re issue her with her new licence being who she was, Not my hubby, he took her for her test and then told her it was time to hand the licence in. He then rang her son and told him, his reply was "Thank God now we don't have to worry anymore" so my point is your friends family may be wishing that someone would make that move.

Good luck with your decision but I will say I hope I'm not heading south in the near future.

Cheers

D


Simba, our much missed baby.

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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 21:37

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 21:37
Lionel, I also meant to say that I would not have lasted the whole trip to and from the city, I would have been offering to give him a break very early into the trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOL



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Reply By: roblin - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 21:33

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 21:33
I would tend more towards thinking along he lines of how his driving could possibly affect my family or I. As has been said, what happens if he happens to be driving (or towing his van god forbid) through your children's school zone at peak time and didn't stop whilst your kids were crossing the road. What if it was your wife that he strayed in front of when she was on her way home from the shops? In both these instances the decision should be made simpler.

As an aside, how many old folk have you seen towing their rigs with large cruisers/patorls then have gotten out of the vehicles and needed assistance to walk whether with a cane or, in some cases, a zimmer frame? It doesn't fill me with confidence that they would be able to control their rigs in the event of an emergency. That said, I am not tarring everyone with he same brush as there are a greater percentage of loder folk out there that have fantastic driving skills.
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Reply By: Member - Footloose - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 22:20

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 22:20
Originally I was going to post the details but let me just say that this situation brings back very painful memories.

I don't want to sound like a zelot, but PLEASE help him to realize that there comes a time.
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Reply By: V64Runner - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 23:40

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 23:40
A tough decision to make when its a long time friend. But I had to make the decision to hang up the Pilots Licence due to a scare, brought about by a distraction in the cockpit, and realised my reflexes were not as they should be. Was the hardest decision I have had to make and now I have no regrets. And although I`m still in my mid 60s, I know there will be a time when - if I live long enough to get to real old age, that I will have to hand in the driving license. I`ve told my family that when they see me make a serious blunder , then to take me to the nearest cop shop and give up the license had get someone to drive me home. I dont envy you having to call the shots ,but I dread to think if there is a fatal accident and he is to blame. Hope it all works out just fine for all concerned
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Reply By: Mike Harding - Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 09:50

Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 09:50
Your choice but… if a friend chose to go over my head and report me I would never forgive them.

For an older person to loose their right to drive can be a massive blow to them, it may change their whole life, he may not think you had the right to do that?

It is not your duty to exercise responsibility over other adults – talk to your friend and explain how concerned you are. Perhaps write a letter to him explaining your concerns, a letter gives him time to reflect without having to make an instant (perhaps face saving) response, additionally there is something about words on paper which is less easy to ignore than the spoken word.

You should also consider the possibility that you are over-reacting?

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 308726

Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 20:39

Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 20:39
Mike, I would also resent a friend or anyone dobbing me in, but here in lies the dilemma.
If I tried to prevent a mate driving home plonked would I not be trying to exercise responsibility over another adult.

Your statement [It is not your duty to exercise responsibility over other adults] stands up if the adults are in full possession of their facullties, however, alcohol, drugs, age, frailty, dimmentia, senility and a host of other impairments deem some people vunerable, open to abuse and accidents.

Depending on one's definition of a 'friend', does a friend look the other way or see the problem and try to help. Possibly somewhere in between ???????????

Nah, mate, not over-reacting. Got two members of my family with advanced levels of dimmentia. Believe me, I do know the signs.

Cheers....Lionel.
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 21:52

Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 21:52
Lionel... you can play with words and vague possibilities all you like and, eventually, you'll be able to justify anything you wish, but it is not your role in life to make decisions for other adults.

It sounds to me as if you have already made the decision .

Mike Harding
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Reply By: Member - Duncs - Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 09:55

Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 09:55
We are approaching this situation with my Dad.

His doctor expressed concerns and ordered he be tested. SO he did.

The examiner was very good. Dad passed his test but she suggested a couple of areas that needed polishing up and recommended a driving school that specialized in this sort of thing.

Dad went along and had a couple of lessons. Mum reckons it has improved his driving out of sight. He doesn't drive far these days, Mum does most of it but they need to drive to the local shops for the basics and Dad is quite capable of doing that.

Dad now has to be re-tested every year and it is really stressful for him and Mum but he is still driving. The tests and lessons have made him aware that his skills are not what they used to be and that they are not improving. This in turn has helped Dad to realise that the ageing process is affecting him in other areas too. So he is thinking about them and in a way both he and Mum are being made ready for that difficult time when he can no longer drive.

Perhaps you could suggest he get some lessons to help him tow the caravan. This way he comes under the eye of a professional who is used to dealing with his decline and will make informed decisions about your mates driving future.

Duncs
AnswerID: 308727

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