The Hazard of Elderly Drivers

Topics: Old age, Gerontology, Automobile Pages: 7 (2494 words) Published: April 18, 2012
The Hazard of Elderly Drivers
“The Congress shall have Power…to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States…” (Section 8 [1] United States Constitution). Under the Constitution of the United States of America, government has the ability to implement laws that provide for the general well being of its citizens. Regardless of the circumstance, the government must act in the best interest of the civilians living within the United States. One of the most prominent dangers to every single person in America is the automobile. Even the most adroit driver in the country is in danger while on the road simply because of the mistakes that other less talented drivers make. An obvious group of drivers that are less capable of operating a motor vehicle than others is the elderly. It is a proven fact that as most people age their physical capabilities steadily deteriorate which causes a decreased aptitude to drive. As a solution, a law should be passed that requires drivers past seventy-five years of age to be retested on their driving abilities.

The invention of the motor vehicle was one of the most significant technological advancements to occur in the history of the United States of America. Henry Ford was the first person to mass-produce a vehicle that was cheap enough for the “common-man”. Ford was not responsible for creating the first car or implementing the first assembly line, but he did use techniques in his assembly lines that allowed for his Model T to be produced at a relatively cheap cost (History of the Ford Model T). Ford was more efficient in producing cars than all the other two hundred ninety nine other manufacturers combined (History of the Ford Model T). By the year 1927, the company was generating approximately three cars every minute (History of the Ford Model T). This amazing new product completely transformed America for the better and for the worse.

The creation and mass production of the motor vehicle had numerous positive effects on the American nation. For one, the Model T enabled goods to be delivered much faster around the country because a car can travel at much higher velocities than a horse and buggy (Carol Davis). Also, the number of jobs produced in Henry Ford’s assembly lines caused an increased migration of farmers into urban areas (Carol Davis). Paul Ingrassia of the Wall Street Journal wrote, “The Model T put America on wheels, created mass mobility, revolutionized mass production, established the American middle class and eventually reshaped the country's physical landscape with suburban sprawl.” (Paul Ingrassia). The techniques used to create these cars actually helped America win World War II (Carol Davis). The United States was capable of mass-producing weapons, ships, and fighter planes at rates that no country on the Axis power could imagine (Carol Davis). The invention of the automobile did not, however, have all positive effects on America.

Ever since its creation, the automobile has had one major negative impact on the people that drive it. The motor vehicle has always been one of the major contributors to the death rate in America. Every time a person enters a car he is putting himself into a tremendous amount of danger. In the year 2007, accidents ranked as the fifth highest cause for number of deaths in America (Leading Causes of Death). Not only do car accidents cause deaths and injuries, but they also result in an enormous amount of money that is needed to fix damages. For example, in 2005 there were approximately “6,420,000” documented car accidents in the U.S. (Car Accident Statistics). These accidents resulted in over “42,000” deaths and about “2,900,000” injuries (Car Accident Statistics). Not only were the people involved hurt, but their bank accounts were hurt as well. In this year alone, the money spent amounted to an unbelievable “230,000,000,000 dollars” (Car Accident Statistics). While the benefits of the automobile...
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