Forget Me Not: Be polite to elderly drivers | CraigDailyPress.com

Forget Me Not: Be polite to elderly drivers

Noelle Leavitt Riley

Try to be polite to senior citizens who drive slow on the road.

Have you ever been driving along the road and all of a sudden, you get stuck behind someone that is going roughly 10 miles slower than the speed limit and you honk, yell profanities and get annoyed because they can't seem to speed things up?

And the when you finally find a place to pass them, you prepare to give them the finger until you realize the slow driver is an elderly person?

The important message I'd like to convey is even if you don't think elders should be operating a motor vehicle, there's no need to be rude to them while on the road.

I've seen road rage at its worst with younger adults who are frustrated with seniors behind the wheel. Is it really necessary to cuss at them and treat them disrespectfully just because they drive slow and abide by traffic laws?

Granted, there are some elderly people who should not drive, but that doesn't mean we need to lash out at them.

Imagine how you would feel if someone was rude to your elderly loved one because they were driving slow. Imagine someone yelling profanities or honking their horn at your grandma as she was trying to get to the grocery store.

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Respect comes in many forms, as does dignity. As we age, we sometimes lose our dignity on many levels. We lose our independence, and driving is a part of feeling independent.

When my Grandma Abby was 75 years old, I felt she no longer should drive. I hid her keys from her and told her repeatedly she should not be on the road. But I could see the fear in her eyes about losing her ability to get up and go whenever she pleased.

She held on to her right to drive until her dying day. She needed the ability to be independent and had she lost that right, I believe she would've lost her fervor to be a part of society.

If you have an elderly loved one who should no longer drive, try finding alternatives for them so they don't feel a loss of independence. And if you're driving behind a senior citizen, give them a break and please don't be rude.

Noelle Leavitt Riley is the editor of the Craig Daily Press and the Saturday Morning Press. She and her husband, Shawn Riley, run the Forget Me Not organization where they take donated flowers to the elderly, letting them know they're not forgotten by society. Reach her at 970-875-1790 or nriley@CraigDailyPress.com.Noelle Leavitt Riley is the editor of the Craig Daily Press and the Saturday Morning Press. She and her husband, Shawn Riley, run the Forget Me Not organization where they take donated flowers to the elderly, letting them know they’re not forgotten by society. Reach her at 970-875-1790 or nriley@CraigDailyPress.com.Noelle Leavitt Riley is the editor of the Craig Daily Press and the Saturday Morning Press. She and her husband, Shawn Riley, run the Forget Me Not organization where they take donated flowers to the elderly, letting them know they're not forgotten by society. Reach her at 970-875-1790 or nriley@CraigDailyPress.com.

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