Many of you are probably looking at the title of this article and wondering what do driverless cars have to do with health? My answer to that question is that one of the most serious problems among seniors is depression and most of that is caused by being isolated with no transportation.
The latest statistical analysis shows that most seniors live on for an average of seven years after they give up their license to drive. Those years can be very miserable; losing your independence; having to depend on your children or grandchildren or even worse, DARTS, to get you around for all your doctor appointments and shopping.
My grandfather was a sterling example of this. When he eventually lost his license because of a traffic accident (he accidentally drove into the rear of a police cruiser who was investigating a driver who had rear-ended him), he tried desperately to get his license back but was unsuccessful. Normally a very vibrant outgoing man, full of witty remarks and a zest for life, he was confined to his apartment and became very miserable and depressed. He became a recluse because he was too independent to ask for help. This was his personality and, just like the statistics say, he died 7 years later in his sleep.
The fact that very soon we will have cars that can drive themselves is a boon for senior citizens. It really won’t matter if your eyesight is failing or your reflexes are very slow. Medical marijuana or any of the drugs you take will not limit your ability to get behind the wheel of your vehicle. You just have to get into your car, enter the address of your destination in the navigation system and off you go. The new models not only park themselves automatically but even can find you the nearest parking space. Many seniors drive way past their prime and this can be very dangerous. Driverless cars will allow seniors to give up their licenses much earlier and be passengers in their own cars. No need to beg the grandchildren for a ride.
Never mind the good-old-days. This technology will be the future for the happiness of our senior population that keeps on living into nineties. Forget the inheritance for the grandchildren; buy that Tesla.
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