It's funny 'cause it's true


#61

I still watch reruns of “The Rockford Files”. Cell phones would have made his life a lot easier.


#62

OK, then a Peel 50 or perhaps a Cessna 140.


#63

I could definitely get into the Cessna, and probably the Peel. Peels are cool. I saw a Top Gear show once where they took drove one into an office building, up the elevator, and drove it around the office cubicles. They don’t have a reverse gear. One simply lifts one end of the vehicle, turns it around, and goes forward.

On second thought, forget the Peel! :smile:

For those who’ve never seen a Peel, here’s a photo. Or two.
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#64

Man, 40mph in that thing would be scarier than 200 in a race car.


#65

Yeah, small planes are the worst. You’re not only wedged in with controls all around you, you have to climb up to get out. You can’t just roll out of those :wink:


#66

Well what will they think of next, flying cars?


#67

Understand that the Peel is only made and sold on the Isle of Mann (also spelled Man). The isle of Mann is about 10 miles wide by 30 miles long tip-to-tip. The Peel is perfect for its environment.


#68

I think it depends on which Peel you have. If you have the Saloon Scooter (the one with the lone wheel in the front), then it could be on the Isle of Nothing But Straight Roads And No Wind and you might still roll the thing. :wink:

Fortunately I think only the prototype had that particular configuration, although since the P50 is basically an enclosed wheelchair, 40 would be scary no matter what the wheelbase looked like. :wink:


#69

After yesterday, maybe we should follow the FAA and require a current medical for driver’s licenses just like pilot’s licenses.
My trip home from work was delayed for over two hours due to an accident that completely shut down RM 620 by Lake Travis. I finally just gave up and went back to town and got home using highway 71. A fire truck engineer lost consciousness while driving and crashed into a bunch of cars.

I was just about ready to park at Windy Point and just swim across the lake to get home.


#70

History is replete with even professional athletes suddenly dying of heart attacks and other “medical emergencies”, and they regularly get the absolute best of medical checkups on a regular basis. You cannot regulate medical emergencies out of existence. That’s why commercial carriers require both a pilot and a copilot, both fully certified to fly the aircraft.

Regulation is not the solution to all problems. Stuff happens, sometimes sadly resulting in tragedy.

I’ve had two heart attacks, and yet I have over a half century of accident free driving. I have a bum ticker, liver damage (and I don’t drink or smoke, haven’t for over 45 years), diabetes, and a few other maladies less prone to causing sudden death. And I’m elderly. Do you propose I be banned from driving? Am I less safe than someone with a history of drunkenness, or a long record of accidents? Or a long record of heavy smoking, which can cause a massive coronary? Or someone who drives after “only a couple of drinks” (read: “buzzed”)?

Just as my living a life of nonsmoking, nondrinking, and complete annual physicals could not prevent me from coming down with liver damage and two heart attacks, and just as excellent physical conditioning through my 40s could not prevent degenerative disc disease, mandatory physicals will not and cannot prevent an occasional medical-emergency crash. Things that we cannot control happen, and that’s just the way life is.

Everyone should have complete physicals every year. And everyone should not smoke or drink and should stay in good physical shape through daily exercise. But I’m proof positive that stuff still happens.


#71

In Texas, a driver can have a license suspension after invasive surgery or other medical situations.
Yes sometimes things just happen. I knew a person who had a massive heart attack while behind the wheel. He rear ended the traffic stopped at an intersection and was dead behind the wheel when they opened his doors. No previous indications of heart trouble. No other people were killed.

Speaking for myself, I prefer to live free in a somewhat dangerous world than trade my freedom for safety.


#72

Me too.
Predictable disasters should be avoided, but extreme efforts to remove all chances of something happening don’t leave much freedom.


#73

I think it’s a fairly severe mischaracterization to claim that advocating for testing drivers more than once in a 70+year time span is the same thing as advocating for a freedom-restricting 100% safety program.

As it seems to have gotten confused again, I’ll point out again that I’m not picking on old people. I think 30 year olds should be tested as well. We do it to pilots. We do it to boat captains. We even do it to forklift operators. Yet for some reason we don’t do it to people who are piloting several tons of speeding metal inches away from other people doing the same thing. That doesn’t make sense.

This wouldn’t be punitive, or overly burdensome. Just go in and spend 20 minutes every 10 years or so showing somebody that you still know how to drive safely. I fail to see how this would be some Orwellian assault on freedom.


#74

Fair enough. But I still maintain that it’s wrong to make people with good driving records test again just because they’re (we’re) old. The people who should have to retest… and depending on the situation take additional training… are those who have a history of accidents or moving violations. DUIs I consider a category apart from simple moving violations. DUIs we should deal with severely. Repeat DUIs should have their ability to repeat again removed. The only way I can see to do that is to take their car away. Would it be a perfect solution? Nope. But I think it would be a far better solution than what we’re currently doing.

I should add that I don’t fly. And I don’t pilot a commercial water vessel. Because we have the mentioned mandates for these people does not mean they’re appropriate for drivers.


#75

My father in-law has a clean driving record, yet he is incapable of driving anymore. The only reason he doesn’t drive is that his wife hid the keys, and my wife (their daughter) visits at least once a week to help with errands. There is no way he should have a driver’s license. If there was testing every five years, he would have lost his license several years ago.


#76

And there should be a mechanism for the family to request that he be retested.

I still maintain that we should be focusing our resources on those that are causing the problems, not on the old simply because they’re old.


#77

Not old, but because they drive. This also provides a mechanism to catch drunk drivers. If they are so far gone that they drive drunk all the time, they will show up for the test drunk. It may also find people that for whatever other reason are no longer capable of driving safely, yet continue to do so because they can. As far as old drivers are concerned, what if there are no concerned relatives nearby? In our case it doesn’t matter, because we can stop him. I’m worried about others that don’t have a good support group.


#78

Which constitutional amendment guarantees the right to drive? Some of you keep talking about your “freedom” and bristle at the “freedom to drive” being taken away. There is no such freedom or right. Driving is a PRIVILEGE. Like all privileges, it should be afforded to you as long as you respect it. If you can no longer drive safely then your privilege should be revoked (see “reckless driving” and “DUI” as examples). My grandmother stopped driving at night when she reached 72 and took herself off the road completely at 76. She felt that her eyesight was not sufficient to drive safely. She had better eyesight at her age than most people but she realized that driving safely demanded more than she could give. I wish more people would evaluate themselves as critically and objectively as she did.

Frankly, I find that many aging people base their driving decisions on the basis of the fact that they choose to live in a house that requires them to drive and giving up driving would isolate them. I think that is not a smart reason to choose to continue to drive. Perhaps people should plan better so that they can give up driving at a certain point and not be stuck out in the woods with no place to go.


#79

So you would propose that elderly people who’ve worked their entire lives to have a house they love should give up that house, the one they raised their children and had all the major events in for decades, the one their memories with their children and grandchildren we created in, should give up their houses and move to the city? Or to a nursing home? Or an assisted living facility? Who will pay? If you go into a nursing home, they take all that equity you’ve worked all those years to create.

Are you aware of how much of this country is rural? What do you propose for the many millions of elderly people who live in rural areas? Or people like me, who live in towns with no public transportation, which is probably most of this country?

You’ve also totally ignored the fact that the major problems on the roads are caused by those with poor driving records and those who drive impaired. Our resources are not unlimited. IMHO we’d be far, far better off to focus them on those who are causing the problems rather than those who are simply old.

I should add that elderly people generally drive far less, spend far, far less time on the road, than those who are not elderly. I drive about 5,000 miles a year now. Before I retired, I drove 30,000 to 35,000 miles a year. Can any of you who are retired honestly say you don’t spend a lot less time on the road?

Kudos to your grandmother. She, as do a great many elderly people, realize when they’re too old to drive safely and self-regulate by deciding themselves to change their living and/or driving situation. Many, many others who can no longer drive safely become limited by their family members, as did my dad. I submit that the problem of elderly drivers causing accidents is no where near as big as you’re making it out to be.


#80

I disagree that I am not compassionate. But if you CHOOSE to live in a house that is not practical for an elderly person then all your arguments are moot. My father and step-mother live in an apartment in NYC on the 5th floor of a building with an elevator that breaks down constantly. My father has bad knees and can’t walk up and down stairs. If there is a fire he won’t even be able to get down the stairs to safety. They live in an apartment where my step-mother raised her kids and has lived all her life. So what? It is an impractical place for my dad to live and they need to find a place where they can both live safely and with a good quality of life.

My counter to your argument is that you are seeking to solve the problem of poor life planning for the elderly with letting them keep their driver’s licenses well past the point of safety. If you can’t drive safely, at any age, you don’t belong on the road. Using your emotional arguments does not change the facts. Sorry that you might have to leave your house you raised your kids in, or that you might have to live someplace that you don’t consider as desirable but, unless you have money to pay hired help, it looks like you are stuck.

I think we should all have to prove our driving ability at every age, period. If you fail, you come off the road. If you are the great driver that you think you are then passing should be easy. My 82 year old dad was once a great driver. He is now a menace on the road. Merging without looking, denting cars while parking, and driving like he wants to win a NASCAR race despite having glasses with the wrong prescription and not having prescription sunglasses (so he is driving almost blind when the sun is out). We (the kids) have not taken away his license or car, but none of us (or our kids) will ride with him any more. I pray every day that he doesn’t kill someone, especially himself.