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You climb into your car with a long journey ahead and you get quite far into it as the roads are being good to you. After a while you turn into a 60 mph single carriage way and you catch up with a car doing 40 to 50 mph. You are stuck there for 10 miles or more and you notice whilst ripping your hair out that there's a white fluffy curled head piece just behind the steering wheel of the car in front and you. Your worst fears have been confirmed, it's a pensioner who has no concept of time anymore. They don't care about anyone else and they don't even know you are behind them no matter how close or far you are from them. What do you do now?
I have been in this situation in the past. I have flashed my lights, blasted the horn and edged out a little to show myself to the side mirror etc. All of these attempts to get the attention of this person have little or no effect. The only other option is to wait a very long time for a clear stretch of road then put the foot down escape this hell. Of course there is the danger of a dip in the road and nearly a head on smash. How often does this happen I wonder? My guess is more frequent than we are led to believe. Having experienced this too frequently, I now pull over somewhere, let the coffin dodger chug along at 40-50 in 2nd gear and light up to calm myself down before setting off again.
Also what about stupid lane swapping every few minutes? Okay, I suppose the sales reps do that as well! Some more examples of crazy antics from old people would be driving the wrong way down motorways (how often do you hear about that), knocking over neighbours fence because they are in 1st not reverse, taking ages to exit a junction because they are not seated high enough to see properly out the windows.
Recently I was re-fuelling my car at a garage after a 12 hour shift. I very tired and basically just wanted to get back home. Along came an old lady, she missed her brake pedal and rammed her car into the back of mine causing me to spill petrol all down my leg and on the floor. She then got out and BLAMED ME for not parking far enough forward! My response was something along the lines of "If they made the pipes longer I would have parked on the road so you could have the whole forecourt to play dodgems in!"
Personally, I think all drivers over the age of 60 should to re-take a test at least every five years, perhaps at a subsidized rate. My grandad who is 80 is not fit to drive a car both medically and mentally. He still insists on driving so we are in contact with DVLA in the hope that they will revoke his licence. I think that is what caring family members should do. If a pensioner can drive the wrong way down a motorway or drive into the back of a parked car in a petrol forecourt, they could just as easily plough over a child, someones daughter or son. Hopefully this wont happen to anyone you know, but given the choice, I'm sure you would prefer that the family of that old person intervened before someone was seriously hurt.
By: Mark H