Too old to drive.

Too old to drive.

Who actually causes the most accidents with personal injury? According to the annual report of the Federal Statistical Office for 2020, this is the age group between 25 and 35 with over 30 percent – closely followed by the 45 to 55-year-olds. And what about senior citizens? 65+ drivers were involved in about 15 percent of accidents in which people were injured. The German Automobile Club (ADAC) even points out that seniors are more likely to be among the main victims of traffic accidents, and far more often the victims than the cause of them.

Seniors often more compliant
In politics, a mandatory driving aptitude test has not been taken up in recent years. The previous Minister of Transport, Andreas Scheuer, had already told the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe in 2019 that he would reject the driving test for seniors altogether. There will be no such test under him, Scheuer said. In addition, the ADAC shows in its report "Older Drivers. Better than their reputation", that seniors often drive more in accordance with the rules. This is also supported by the Federal Ministry for Families, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. It points out that seniors do lose power as they age, but can make up for it with their years of driving experience.

Not to be underestimated
However, many seniors complain about old-age long-sightedness or cataracts. They gradually lose the ability to see their immediate surroundings sharply and to perceive contrasts. In the noisy and fast environment of road traffic, this can quickly have serious consequences. In addition, according to the German Association of Ophthalmologists, night blindness is often underestimated. This leads to poorer differentiation between light and dark environments. This is why it is important to have hearing aids and glasses checked regularly.

Alternatives are already in the works
And if you do want to swap your car for the train, you'll be interested to know that several communities and cities are currently exploring alternatives for seniors. It makes it easier to use public transportation, both financially and logistically. The city of Stuttgart, for example, has launched an awareness campaign. It should encourage seniors to exchange their driver's license for a free annual ticket. The costs are covered by the city together with the transport and tariff association Stuttgart. The Hamburg CDU also takes an example from the state of Baden-Württemberg. A senior citizen's card is being discussed here to provide this age group with new, cost-effective options for owning a car. However, such alternatives do not mean that seniors have to give up their driving licenses. They are just that – alternatives.

Experience makes up for a lot
Headlines that focus on the age of the people who cause accidents in order to attract attention, so now or not: It is true that seniors are more affected by poor eyesight and reduced reaction times as they get older. But the statistics show that seniors are aware of this and are much more experienced than other road users.

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