The Aging Driver: A NYT Debate
The four present different solutions - from denying there is a problem in the first place because senior have less crashes proportionate to other groups, to "pushing the car" by enhancing 'intelligent technology', to re-engineering the driver herself through the marvels of surgery. Only one presented a clear, livable communities agenda where cars were not necessary.
Joseph F. Coughlin, founder and director of the AgeLab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote: "Onboard computers warn of possible collisions, compensate for declining vision, and enable active safety systems to take control reducing the impact of a crash. Beyond these innovations is a vision of the driverless car, autonomous of human control and error. " [See YouTube at bottom of this column from AgeLab on the car for the aging driver....or any driver, for that matter].
Elinor Ginzler, senior vice president of AARP, acknowledged the "clear connection between non-driving, and social isolation and deterioration of physical and mental health". And AARP's main solution?
"The bottom line is that we need to make our communities more livable and can start by improving the ways we help people safely and effectively get from one place to another."
Thanks to Kenyon Karl