August 14, 2002


A Growing Transportation Gap : As Americans live longer, the number of years they are able to drive is shrinking--and causing a problem that needs to be addressed by society. (JANE E. ALLEN, August 5 2002, LA TIMES)
Hundreds of thousands of Americans are outliving their ability to drive, a new study has found, leaving them dependent on others to provide rides for several years.

"Hundreds of thousands of older people quit driving each year and must turn to alternative transportation," said Dan Foley, a biostatistician at the National Institute on Aging in Bethesda, Md., and lead author of the study. "I don't think sufficient attention has been paid to the transition from driver to non-driver in the aging population."

Nearly 10% of the nation's drivers today are older than 65. The aging of the baby boomers and an increase in the number of female drivers is expected to yield a growing population of older Americans living longer than they hold a driver's license.

Which misses the real point, that people are driving long past the age when they are competent. Moreover, this problem will just get worse as more folks live longer and it may prove difficult to solve through normal legislative channels because the elderly will be the dominant cohort in the population, able to dictate the law to the younger minority. Posted by Orrin Judd at August 14, 2002 12:10 PM
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