Elderly Drivers Rock the Roadways - But Should They?

In our last blog, E3 Spark Plugs brought you the story of Queen Elizabeth's wild ride to church one otherwise peaceful Sunday morning. Commandeering her sleek Jaguar X-type, as she's known to do now and then, Lighting Liz got a bit antsy with a young family blocking her path at Windsor Great Park and handled the matter by veering into the grass, busting a polite-but-pointed royal wave and going on her way, presumably with David Bowie's "Modern Love" blaring from radio.

OK, so we dreamed up that last part, but if the song fits…

Church on time terrifies me
Church on time makes me party
Church on time puts my trust in God and man

The episode was met with a range of reactions from mild amusement to mad props. But it also raised the question as to just how safe it is for elderly drivers to command the roadways. Here in the US, there were some 36 million licensed drivers age 65 or older in 2012 - a 34-pecent boost from 1999. That same year, 5,560 older adults were killed and more than 214,000 injured in car crashes nationwide.

We love you, Gramps and Granny. Seriously - No one rocks a green bean casserole or spins a war story like you do. But let's face it - you ain't no spring chicken anymore and nothing fun lasts forever. So, if you're not yet ready to give up your driver's license, we here at E3 Spark Plugs offer a few tips to help keep you safe and our sanity in check:

  • Get your daily exercise to help keep you strong, flexible and able to handle a tense behind-the-wheel situation caused by some clueless young whippersnapper sharing the roadway.
  • Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about side effects of any prescription and over-the-counter medications you might take.
  • Get your eyes checked at least once a year and wear contacts or glasses as prescribed.
  • Drive only during daylight hours in clear weather.
  • Plan the safest routes with well-lit streets, intersections with left turn arrows and easy parking.
  • Leave plenty of room between your car and the one in front of you.
  • Lay off the sauce.
  • Enjoy the perks of your seniority and leave the driving to somebody else. If your kids swear they're too busy to drive you, spend their inheritance on taxi rides, bus fares or a private chauffer.

From all of us here at E3 Spark Plugs to elders everywhere, be safe on the roadways. And long live the Queen.