By Paul Bendix
Too Old to DriveUploaded: Oct 20, 2013
Everyone knows about last week's accident on Santa Cruz Ave. A 90-year-old driver. A six-year-old boy badly injured, his twin brother traumatized. For me, the event prompted some agonized reflection.
I am back on the roads after almost a year of not driving. That's how long it took for me to acquire a new van for my wheelchair. Which makes me one year older and no less disabled. True, a team of experts has examined me and my driving. The whole experience should be safer than ever. But in truth I am more paranoid than confident. I now drive the streets of Menlo Park, not to mention the Bay Area, tensed like a fighter pilot. I see danger at every turn. Which may not be a bad thing.
The question is when do I stop driving? Surely this point will come much sooner for me. With a serious disability, as I age driving will become more of an issue.
And what will I do when it's time to hang up the car keys? Probably what I have done for the last year. Rely heavily on public transportation. Hitch a lift with my wife. Occasionally use a wheelchair cab. Based on the last year, I know I will get by.
But not everyone does. In suburban life, driving means independence. But does it have to? I wonder how others feel about driving and aging.
When do you plan to stop driving? How will you adapt to not having a car? Do you want improved public transportation? Let's hear your ideas....