Aaron Michelson Professor D. Nugent-Odasso Speech 2 March 8 2013 Drivers of all Ages Purpose: To persuade my audience to vote against the idea that the elderly should have to take driving test’s to get their licenses renewed. Thesis: Forcing a certain age group to take more driving test’s than anybody else is unethical and ill-advised. I. Attention: You probably have been told that elderly are one of the biggest causes of car accidents on the road and the elderly are naturally bad drivers because of their slowing response times and bad eyesight. But what you haven’t been told is that all the data supporting that idea is inconclusive. But they are still being automatically stereotyped as bad drivers and being forced to continually take driving tests more than any other age group. Anybody who drives a lot can tell stories of near-misses and incidents of having come this close to an accident. How many of those involved an elderly person? In my own experience, hardly ever. It is usually a young to middle-aged male, and usually the incident occurs because they drive too fast, try to cut in front of other traffic, or are just plain dangerous drivers. But let’s say we do take seniors mobility away, who will be responsible for the burden of their transportation? II. Need: Millions of perfectly safe drivers are in danger of having all their mobility unjustifiably taken away, which also means having their livelihood taken away. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention last updated on January 31, 2013, elderly drivers are 11% more likely to wear a seatbelt, 75% less likely to drink and drive and tend to only drive when conditions are the safest compared to younger drivers (www. cdc. gov, 2013). If this is the case then why do we think they are more dangerous drivers then teenagers and young adults? Almost all studies showing that elderly are more dangerous drivers have another study showing the exact opposite. There are no clear facts. So we should not enforce a law that affects so many people in such a big way with such unclear data. III. Satisfaction: Instead of giving driving tests with detrimental consequences, elderly people should instead be required to take an inexpensive Drivers Ed course every five years to update them on the rules of the road and safety issues related to driving. For instance AARP offers driving courses designed for ages 50 and up, although any age group can take the course to increase their driving skills. According to AARP. org last updates on January 1st 2012, “ The AARP Driver Safety Program is the nation’s first and largest refresher course for drivers age 50 and older that has helped millions of drivers sharpens their ability on the road. ” (AARP. org, 2013). The AARP driving program, as well as many others, also gives tips to make sure that their eyesight, reaction times, and health is top notch while on the road. There is also another benefit for the elderly to take these driving courses. It could save them money on their car insurance because their rates will go down. This is a much more reasonable, ethical and much less expensive way to make the road a safer place. IV. Visualization: Speaking of expensive. What would happen if we did implement yearly driving test for the elderly? Well, 79 million baby boomers are all reaching 65 years old. And all of them would have to take driving test which would cost the government huge amounts of money to pay for those driving test. Many of them might not pass, and there would be huge amounts of people needing other means of transportation. The government would have to provide these means of transportation for these people. But who will pay for that? You will. Taxes would rise and come out of our paycheck to pay for the millions of people now needing other means of transportation. So in the end, you will have less money for almost no benefit what so ever. V. Action: After you leave here today, before you can make a decision that can negatively affect so many people. Take time to call your grandmother or grandfather and ask them how they would feel if their driving licenses were taken away and how that would affect their lives. Take their opinion into account before you assume anything. And don’t forget, we all age, and eventually you too will have to be taking these driving tests that you voted for. References Why Take a Driver Safety Course? (2012, January 1). In AARP Driver Safety Program. Retrieved March 8, 2013, from http://www. aarp. org/home-garden/transportation/info-05-2010/why-take-a-driver-safety-course. html Older Adult Drivers: Get the Facts (2013, January 31). In
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