Seniors and Road Safety in Car Dependant Places

I stumbled upon a neat article from the LA Times that came out in January called “When to ask your parents for the keys”, which is about adult children trying to determine if their aging parents can drive safely, and if not, how to broach the subject of giving up driving.

This quote jumped out at me:

“Losing the ability to drive impacts a person’s dignity and independence, especially in California, where transportation options can be limited.”

So why is it that we have allowed things to come to this pass? Why have we consented to live in places with infrequent and inconvenient transit service? Why have we consented to live in places where destinations are so spread out that they are hard to walk or bike to? Why have we consented to live in places where, if you think about it, there isn’t enough time on a walk signal to cross a street unless you’re young and healthy enough to walk quickly?

Because of my age I don’t often think about these things in terms of what they mean to senior citizens. However, some of the best arguments for a balanced transportation system reveal themselves when you think about the questions posed by the article. What the hell are you going to do when you, or your parents, are too old to drive safely?