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When Should Seniors Hand Over the Car Keys?

At what age should a senior driver give up the car keys? If you're wondering how to talk to your elderly parents about their driving, you're not alone. Hattie Kauffman has a look at seniors behind the wheel.


Albert Gott is 89 years old. He's been a driver for three quarters of this century. "Have your kids ever talked to you and said, you know what dad, I don't think you should drive anymore?"


"No."


"And how would you feel if they did that?"


"I would listen to them, but they'd have to convince me."


Gott and many others may soon need convincing. Today, there are 18 million elderly drivers on the road. And that number goes up every year.


In a recent highly publicized case, a 96-year-old driver, Byron Cox hit and killed a California teenager as she was walking in a crosswalk.


Currently only two states, Illinois, and New Hampshire, require drivers over 75 to be regularly tested. Though testing isn't required in California, 77-year-old Hendrene St. Claire says she thinks it's a good idea. "I think our reflexes are not as good as they were when we were younger, but I also think we don't take as many chances."


But at this senior center, most still drive. Many say their cars are their lifelines. "My car is very important to me, and as long as God and the Department of Motor Vehicles let me, I'll be driving it," says one senior. "I have no plan to give up driving."


Albert Gott says if he couldn't get behind the wheel, he'd feel like he were in prison.

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