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For Older Drivers, Giving Up License And Independence Can Be Tough

Thursday, February 24, 2005; Page GZ19

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I recently saw a news item on TV about a computer program to test older drivers' reaction times and assess their capability to continue driving.

I did not get a full description of the program or who offered it. Have you heard of it? If so, how can I find a way to take the test? My wife and I are nearing 80 and are concerned about driving safely.

Dr. Gridlock can be reached at (703) 279-3200 or by e-mail at drgridlock@washpost.com.

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Bob Newman

Rockville

I haven't heard of such a program, but perhaps some readers have and will share the information. I commend you for such conscientiousness. Surrendering driving privileges is one of the most traumatic decisions facing seniors because it is a loss of independence. Some hang on to their licenses too long.

Condense Your Travel

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I have a suggestion for improving congestion on the roads.

Some years ago I worked on a film project in Wyoming. I stayed at the ranch of a nice couple about 40 miles from the nearest town. As one who jumped in my car at the slightest shopping excuse ("I need Scotch tape!"), I wondered how my hosts managed, living so far from shopping.

Their secret was organization. They shopped only once or twice a month and made a day of it. They prepared for being snowbound in the winter.

If all of us were better organized, perhaps we could condense several trips into one.

Michael Hoyt

Silver Spring

That is certainly worth considering. Some of us probably could make lists through the month and combine shopping trips. Anything to get vehicles off the roads.

Ice Chunks

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Driving to work along Interstate 270 south, I experienced an unforgettably horrifying event. I watched dozens of ice chunks slide off cars that had not been properly cleaned after the weekend's ice and snow storms. They flew through the air and across the highway. Many of those sheets of ice barely missed approaching vehicles before falling and shattering on the road.


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