The economic impact behind elderly driving

Gregory Warner Dec 8, 2010
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The economic impact behind elderly driving

Gregory Warner Dec 8, 2010
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JEREMY HOBSON: Consumer Reports has an article out today about how to know if it’s time to take the car keys away from an elderly parent. It comes as many states are rethinking the ways they test elderly drivers at the DMV.

Marketplace’s Gregory Warner looks at whether more restrictions could affect the economy.


Gregory Warner: Most elderly drivers tend to use their cars for errands like grocery shopping. But making it harder for senior citizens to get licenses may not mean fewer shoppers at the drugstore.

Sandi Rosenbloom: By the time you take someone’s license away from them, they haven’t been out spending money every day.

Sandi Rosenbloom is a professor at the University of Arizona, and an expert on the transportation impacts of an aging society. She says the image of Mr. Magoo — driving to the store, clearing sidewalks along the way — is a myth.

Rosenbloom: You get to be an unsafe driver because you’re old. You get to be an unsafe driver because you’re sick.

For the thousands of Americans who lose their licenses each year, the biggest economic impact might be on their adult children, especially daughters and daughters-in-law who have to become the taxi of last resort. Anne McCartt is with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Anne McCartt: Many older people don’t live where they have access to other means of transportation.

That’s why taking away someone’s license, she says, is often the step right before nursing home.

In Philadelphia, I’m Gregory Warner for Marketplace.

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