Life as a Widower

A young widowed father opening up about living with loss

tell them

The eighty-five-year-old driver who killed my wife, Desreen, was jailed today for eighteen months for causing her death by dangerous driving. He was also banned from driving for life. I suspect he, his family and friends are feeling really quite dreadful right now, and, for what it’s worth, mine and I aren’t exactly celebrating either.

You see, I’ve had time to think since attending the trial and I’ve realised that you can punish a crime but you can’t transfer pain. Any suffering caused to the defendant as a result of his sentencing could in no way take away mine. I’ve since learned that, having suffered so much myself, I genuinely wish no hurt on any other person and I never wished a prison sentence on the driver, either.

In fact, I wasn’t even going to mention the sentencing on my blog at all. But then I reminded myself that justice for Desreen is best served not by a prison sentence but by trying to prevent similar unnecessary deaths from happening again in future. I keep hearing people say that they know someone who should probably give up driving but that they don’t know how to raise the issue with them. Well maybe I can help with that.

Tell them that the judge who sentenced the driver today said, ‘An elderly driver who knows, or should acknowledge, that he or she is losing his or her faculties is no less a danger than a drunken driver who knows the same.’

Tell them that the judge also explained that the defendant’s ‘lifetime of blameless driving is of no comfort to the Brooks-Dutton family,’ (and I assure you it really isn’t).

Tell them that the detective sergeant in charge of the prosecution said, ‘It is important for motorists to regularly monitor their driver behaviour and that of their elderly relatives to ensure that the roads are safe for all road users.’

Tell them that the once ‘blameless’ elderly driver suffered pedal confusion, which caused his car to be travelling at an average of fifty-four miles per hour in a twenty zone when he struck and killed my wife.

Tell them that the impact of this pedal confusion caused one of her shoes to fly off her feet as his speeding car hit her on the pavement where she was walking blamelessly with our then two-year-old son and me. Tell them that I had to keep looking at that shoe in the street on the night of her death and in photographs over the course of the subsequent trial.

Tell them that this is the last photo ever taken of my wife with our son together. Tell them that the paramedics on the scene later that evening had to cut off the jumper she is pictured wearing in order to be able to perform CPR on the pavement where she lay dying.

photo 2

Tell them that what happened was almost even more catastrophic and that the car that killed my wife almost killed our son too. Tell them that the collision investigator found a piece of the pushchair he is pictured in here in the street after the car skimmed it before mowing down his mother.

P1010517

Tell them that the day after my wife was killed my son was upset that he couldn’t find his scooter. Tell them that’s because his scooter was found in the wreckage too.

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Tell them that every time I look at my favourite picture of my wife and me together I get upset as I imagine how I lost the hat I am pictured wearing on the night of her death. Tell them that I’ve concluded that I must have inadvertently thrown it into the street as I pulled at my own hair through fear that she was going to die.

Ben & Des

Tell them they won’t be the only people who have to deal with the consequences of any potential injury or fatality that they might cause. Tell them the impact will be felt by more people than they can imagine including their own family and friends.

Tell them that the two-year-old boy who lost his mummy is now four and is still so angry and upset that she can’t come back. Tell them that he has suffered immeasurably from the trauma of that night. Show them this picture and tell them that this is him pictured with his beautiful mummy on his second birthday – the last one they would ever spend together.

DSC_0407

Tell them that at thirty-one years old I was the happiest man alive when I married the love of my life. Tell them that I was utterly bereft when I lost her at thirty-three. Tell them I’m thirty-five now and depressed. Tell them that I put a good face on but that the truth is that things haven’t really got much easier. Tell them from me how hard it is to be a bereaved single parent.

Tell them that once disaster strikes no wishing the tables could be turned will help. Tell them that wanting to switch places with the young person killed will make no difference to those who survive.

Tell them that you understand that they may want to stay mobile but remind them of what’s at risk.

Tell them any of these things you like; print this blog post off, email it on, share it online and let it speak for itself.

Tell me you’ll help prevent this happening again, though.

Just tell me that so that one day I can tell my son that his mother’s death wasn’t completely in vain.

427 comments on “tell them

  1. donna
    January 18, 2015

    our elderly neighbor with Altzheimers was still driving to the golf course every day. A few weeks ago he was back out of his driveway and realized the garage door was open. He simply stepped out of the car without turning it off and the car rolled backwards down the hill across the street and almost into the neighborhood pond. All I could think was I had taken the other road to school to pick up my dtr with my baby in the car. If things were timed differently he could have killed me and the baby. He could have also killed someone out walking their dog or pushing a baby carriage on the road. Lots of cops came don’t think his kids can say he’s harmlessly driving to the golf course anymore. Yes we all need to keep spreading the word to get impaired elderly drivers off of the road. If the family doesn’t have the guts just have planned with the police to stop the driver as soon as he pulls out of his driveway

  2. Diane Haynes
    January 19, 2015

    I am SO sorry for your loss. After riding with my 78 year old mother, I called the Registry and reported her. They took her license away, but she took lessons at a Driving School, retook the test & got it back. Six weeks later, she turned her car onto the highway, ran head-on into a truck & nearly died. The truck’s occupants were injured, my mother spent a year in rehab, and her license was permanently taken. It’s too bad it took so long to get her off the road.

  3. rob
    January 19, 2015

    My wife refuses to certify patients fit for driving when she knows they are medically unfit. Some of them become very angry but that’s not going to console a victim if she allows them to continue driving.

    • Peggy Elenbaas
      January 21, 2015

      Tell your wife thank you.

  4. Caroline Santise
    January 19, 2015

    I am so incredibly sorry!!!
    I will share.

  5. Hope Childress Neudert
    January 19, 2015

    I received the scariest phone call of my life 5 days after you posted this (the 17th) after my husband left an appointment he was walking home. There were no cars coming he had the right of way in a crosswalk, an elderly man (84 nearly 85) stops at the sign and then turns right into my husband. My husband goes over the hood, flips and lands on his back. We were very fortunately that other than some bumps and bruises he was all right. The man in question asked over 4 times if he could leave the scene before the police got there. Fortunately there was a witness who kept him at the scene. I really hope he is investigated.. He kept saying he didn’t see my 5’10” 180 pound husband in daylight wearing a dark brown winter coat. It could have been so much worse. I am so sorry for your loss and hope that our stories will help families make the correct decision for their elderly relatives.

  6. Pam
    January 20, 2015

    Be observant , pay attention to your family and be their advocte and so tragedies like this can be prevented.

  7. Evelyn
    January 20, 2015

    I reported my own eldery father for reckless driving, with a great deal of narrative, specifying that I really believed they needed to take him on a road test in a number of different traffic environments, because he doesn’t transition well. They took him on a Sunday drive through a small town, and he still holds a license.

    • Denise
      January 21, 2015

      Keep trying. Talk to him about your concerns and be firm. Read him this blog. My father had triple bypass surgery 7 years ago and he experiences little blackouts. We didn’t realise at first, but when we did, my sister spearheaded a drive for us to prevent him from driving. My brother took the keys. My father was angry with us for a long,long time. He was 80 last year. Recently, he noticed that one of his friends is becoming forgetful and his advice to the man was that he should stop driving. Be persistent. Your dad will realise that you love him…eventually.

  8. Debbie
    January 22, 2015

    This subject is one that I regularly come back to for reasons not important enough to be of interest. The argument that seems to be most effective with the elderly is sadly not about the possibility that they may hurt someone because they don’t often have the self awareness that they might do that.

    What seems to be very effective is explaining how they can retain their mobility without spending any more. I get them to think about how much the car costs. Insurance, fuel and servicing ( the elderly often have the car serviced annually even if they haven’t done many miles). I then say would it be nice to have a taxi come and collect you? And of course they would carry your bags for you and you wouldn’t have to park. The car can be seen as lifeline but it can become a frightening pressure and I would encourage anyone in later life to give up their car sooner rather than later. My Mum used to over-Rev when reversing and I convinced her to give it up. I also did say to her you would be so distressed if you hurt someone Mum. Fortunately she stopped before her driving deteriorated.

    The hardest thing I know is to forgive. I am sure you know that the driver did not mean to kill Desreen. You are right pain cannot be transferred. There will always be a gap and an ache. It gets easier to bear but it is there. Forgiving is a hard thing to do but from experience it is also liberating. It won’t make you miss her any less but it does relieve some of the gnawing.

    My Dad died when I was 9 he was 50. I am 52 now. Have you got access to a charity like Winstons wish for your son. They are very good.

    All the best.

  9. Rain Hummel
    January 22, 2015

    My mom quit driving after not fealing fit for it at the age of 71, even though she loved driving very much. She tells, I tell, and it should be that way. Public transport should improve though. My mom is happy enough to live in a city with quite nice a public transport, not all of us are that happy. Every one of us can contribute to street safety anyways, by taking elderly neighbours places, supporting public transport and by always checking “am I fit to drive” before entering the drivers seat.

  10. Emma
    January 22, 2015

    My father made the wise choice to give up driving when he hit 70. He said the roads were busier and he was aware his reflexes weren’t what they used to be. I respect him for self awareness and making the right decision. Luckily he lives near good transport links, but some elderly people are isolated without the use of a car so the government need to give consideration to better public transport.

  11. Tracie hall
    January 22, 2015

    Who do you contact if you are concerned about someone’s driving?

  12. Hilary
    January 23, 2015

    First of all, I feel the deepest sympathy for you and your family and your loss.
    I wanted to chime in with what i think needs to be addressed as a large issue as our population ages. Can we develop better mass transit and other alternatives to elderly drivers who face becoming shut ins at home without the “privilege” to drive? Driving is a necessity to some.
    What other options can we come up with to avoid people driving past a safe age.? Are there driving services or programs that are affordable beyond mass transit?
    Thank you again for sharing your story.

    • Anne
      January 27, 2015

      Yes. There need to be alternatives. I just plain don’t like to drive but there are very few alternatives where I live.

  13. Sarah
    January 23, 2015

    My mom told me of several scary events she experienced while driving in her small town. It was a tough discussion and decision but we decided together to sell her vehicle so the temptation wasn’t there. It was very hard for her to adjust but we all knew it was the right thing to do. I am so sorry for you and your sons loss.

  14. JayCee
    January 24, 2015

    How sad.. may God give yall the grace to move on

  15. PAK
    January 25, 2015

    A friend shared this with me and it makes me very sad. I wish you and your son the best as you heal.

    We took my dads car several years ago, while he still felt he could drive. It was difficult for everyone, but worth the effort. Do it if you need to, don’t take the risk.

    Thank you for sharing your story to make a positive change.

  16. Carla Do
    January 25, 2015

    Thank you for sharing your story. I lost my sister in May to a driver who is legally blind, and chose not to wear the special apparatus that allowed him enough vision to drive. She was running on the side of the road with her friend. All of the other drivers of nearby cars saw them running- the man who hit her didn’t. She leaves behind 4 children and her husband of nearly 20 years. The driver has many prior incidents- also not wearing the apparatus. The state of Arizona just dismissed the case and closed the investigation saying that there was little chance of conviction. I pray that this driver will not encounter any other pedestrians and destroy their families as he did mine. My heart goes out to your son and yourself.

  17. julia poe
    January 26, 2015

    I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine your pain and anguish. Please know that my family will be praying for you and your son. God speed.

  18. Joe
    January 26, 2015

    Sadly any regulation proposals to require additional testing after a certain age are fought tooth and nail by the AARP. We impose extra restrictions on young drivers, why not the elderly?
    Sorry for your loss.

  19. Andrew Barnes
    January 26, 2015

    Your story is very sad, we had a young student killed outside my sons school, and even then they refused to change the speed limit to 20 mph.

  20. Shar
    January 27, 2015

    I do not wish in any way to minimize the tragedy being discussed. I just wonder if anyone has checked the stats involving elderly drivers. I live in a rural area with many “old” people around that drive. There are accidents on our roads quite often and I can only remember one in about three years that was caused by an elderly driver. Very few have been teenagers. The bulk of the accidents which involve deaths are caused by those between teenagers and old age. Do you all think the laws should be changed and we should have to get re-tested often because of the actions of our peers? I would prefer not changing the laws but to encourage families to take the responsibility to take the car keys or disable the car. I have seen it successfully done. Please do not leave the job to the spouse! Most certainly they have been trying for a long time. First explain and show the driver their limitations so they might decide that you are right about their limited capabilities. Help them in every way you can to make the hard decision. Start now to provide rides and family activities so they know they can count on you. You can’t just swoop in out of nowhere and take over! Visit. Talk. Do enjoyable things together. Go places. Talk about important things, fun memories, sad memories. Be part of their life. If you live several hours away, call at least twice a week, more often is better. Spend the time and money to visit. They are more likely to listen to your concerns if they trust that you care about them. They are your parent(s). Care about and for them.

  21. charmsofagypsy
    January 27, 2015

    I am so very, very sorry for your loss. Your wife was stunningly beautiful and I’m so sorry that she was taken from you and your dear son so soon. I will say a prayer for your family tonight and I promise to tell your story in my church, Oakland United Methodist Church in Greenback, Tennessee this upcoming Sunday. We have many elderly within our church, perhaps some who should not be driving, and I hope your story will speak out to them.
    Sending warmth and blessings your way,
    Whitney
    charmsofagypsy.wordpress.com

  22. Jessica
    January 27, 2015

    I’m so sorry for you and your sons loss. Something very similar happened in my town. The old man claims he just didn’t see him. So sad.

  23. Lauren
    January 27, 2015

    My heart truly aches for you and your beautiful son. This is an issue I get so emotional about, and reading this has certainly re-lit that fire! Two years ago, our son played pop warner football in our town, and after practice one evening as everyone was leaving the field, one of the dads was trying to cross the street (in the crosswalk) with his 9 year old son. He stepped out just ahead of his little boy as most protective parents will do, and was struck and killed by an 88 year old man driving at least 30mph over the speed limit. The last image this poor boy has of his father will forever be that horrific scene… just trying to get home after practice. This had such a deep effect on me, knowing that my own husband and son were doing the exact same thing at that very moment and it easily could have been them. Thank you so much for sharing your story and this EXTREMELY important info. Love, prayers & peace to you and your sweet boy. ❤ ❤

  24. mummyconstant
    January 27, 2015

    I recently (Nove 2014) had a car accident, a drink driver who was 4 x’s over the limit ploughed into the back of my stationery car and he was going about 70mph. Luckily for me he hit the left hand side of my car, luckily for me he noticed at the last minute and didn’t hit me head on and luckily for my family it was just me in the car. His car was completely ruined. My Megane protected me with its great big bum! I walked out of the car without a bruise. Just feeling very lucky and still to this day very sore.

    I spend everyday thinking what if, what are the other drivers doing? Are they driving responsibly etc and I will most definitely be sharing this post and your story.

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am so sorry that you haven’t got your wife with you and your son’s mother. She will be watching over you. She will be proud of what you are acheiving and how you are holding it all together for the sake of your sons happiness/future.

    You are very brave.

  25. Carlos
    January 27, 2015

    I will tell them. I am so sorry for your loss.

  26. Life as a Widower
    January 27, 2015

    Thanks so much for all the comments. I was so overwhelmed by the response over Christmas that I kind of shut off because I wasn’t in a good way. But now I really want to say thanks because so many people have helped provide the insight I need to speak out again later down the line.

    I also wanted to say that lots of people also seem compelled to point out to me that most road traffic injuries and fatalities are in fact caused by young rather than elderly drivers, and I’m often directed towards the statistics on this. But isn’t that like saying X illness affects more people than Y, so let’s only address X? From what I’ve learned so far, there appears to be a completely different set of issues at play, and I think anyone who has lost a person would be horrified to hear that their death has become little more than a statistic – and perhaps a lesser one at that.

    In the coming months I plan to really explore this issue in depth and revisit it when I feel qualified enough to have a more informed and articulate view than I do right now. I suppose all I wanted to say for now is that if I don’t speak out specifically about one section of society it’s not because I’m marginalising that issue at all, but rather that I’m trying to highlight an issue that I think has been marginalised by too many for too long.

    It’s pretty hard to swallow when the suggestion is that ‘not enough’ people are killed by something to bother talking about it. And it’s because I’d hate for anyone else to find out first-hand how that feels that I plan to continue to at least try to spark some debate and maybe even change.

    • Denise Dimsoy
      January 27, 2015

      Your concern to do something about elderly drivers is valid. There is a great risk involved and some people are wise enough to take the appropriate individual action.but some are not even capable of recognizing the signs. That”s why there are warning notes placed on certain medications, to let people know.that their faculties will be impaired. The complications of aging affect our faculties. It is irresponsible to pretend otherwise.

      • Life as a Widower
        January 27, 2015

        Of course, and reactions time slow considerably too. I sometimes even wonder how many people equate a car with the ‘heavy machinery’ the drug packets warn people not to operate. Who knows?

      • Life as a Widower
        February 2, 2015

        Lots of people seem compelled to point out to me that most road traffic injuries and fatalities are in fact caused by young rather than elderly drivers, and I’m often directed towards the statistics on this. But isn’t that like saying X illness affects more people than Y, so let’s only address X? From what I’ve learned so far, there appears to be a completely different set of issues at play, and I think anyone who has lost a person would be horrified to hear that their death has become little more than a statistic – and perhaps a lesser one at that.

        If I don’t speak out specifically about one section of society it’s not because I’m marginalising that issue at all, but rather that I’m trying to highlight an issue that I think has been marginalised by too many for too long. It’s pretty hard to swallow when the suggestion is that ‘not enough’ people are killed by something to bother talking about it. And it’s because I’d hate for anyone else to find out first-hand how that feels that I plan to continue to at least try to spark some debate and maybe even change.

      • JaneB
        February 26, 2015

        I think the simplest response to this is, ‘while there are idiots in every age group, these deaths were caused explicitly by old age’

  27. Paul Fronapfel
    January 27, 2015

    such a tragic story…so sorry.

    My brother was run over by an elderly man driving a semi-rig. As I understand it, the driver ran a red light in an intersection my brother was biking through. He left behind six children. Nothing can bring back the loss or take away the pain.

    I appreciate your efforts to help possibly prevent someone else from a similar loss.

  28. Elizabeth
    January 28, 2015

    I work with adults post stroke and other organic and traumatic brain injuries. I am often the one encouraging a patient to not drive. This story may help reinforce my recommendations. Thank you for sharing your story and letting me pass it on to those who need to hear it.

  29. Bill S akaHighlander
    January 28, 2015

    I happen to be in the age group you are talking about–70+ with more than 3,000,000 miles in vehicles ranging from the big rigs to motorcycles, mostly in and around Chicagoland and the Midwest. While my wife keeps an eagle eye on me, I do my best to monitor myself, making it a point to watch for dangerous situations; checking for my turn signals left on or unusual traffic flow. I even have my physician watching for signs of mental or attention problems. One of my greatest concerns is placing myself in a situation where I might endanger someone, or may suffer some physical form of incapacitation which would lead to injury or death of another.
    I think that most of us would be horrified if we knew that this was in our future.
    You are correct in your assessment… senior citizens (Damn, how I hate that phrase!) must be watched… the time to approach them is now, while they are still in control. ASK THEM what they would like to happen when they reach the point where they become a danger in some form or another. Make sure that they understand that you are trying to lessen the potential to injure others.
    One other point– keep them active– hobbies are great… if they can work, even volunteer their time to help teach the kids a new skill… I work 40+ hours per week at a local DIY chain, plus fish, plus target shoot… keep the mind challenged.

    Please accept my condolences on your loss– the road you have chosen is a fitting tribute to the memory of your life partner.

  30. Marcia
    January 28, 2015

    You have a beautiful love story that you will always have. You and your wife were so very bless to have each other and to bring into this world a beautiful child. I know it is hard, because it is, but time will help some. Your son will be a great man because he has you as his role model and he will know how to love someone like you did and will, again.

  31. Dee
    January 28, 2015

    As I sit here in full fledged tears over your story, thank you for sharing. I can’t even imagine the heartache you and your son feel. Please know I will always have your story in the back of my mind, when my relatives continue to age and their driving skills start to fail, I WILL step in. Sending you all my best wishes to you and your son, hugs, strength and determination to continue through life the best you can.

  32. Misha
    January 29, 2015

    Cars seem to be the last vestige of perceived independence, and there can be a huge amount of denial about our failing facilities. I worked at an ophthalmology clinic for years, and a common scenario was people driving themselves to the clinic that could see almost nothing (and had no business driving) yet their egos were so strong that they wouldn’t face their reality, and the potential negative impact on other people.

    • Misha
      January 29, 2015

      Faculties, not facilities. Autocorrect. 😦

  33. Jennifer Warner
    January 29, 2015

    I completely understand. I too was widowed by a careless driver. I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful wife. Nothing that happens now can ever alleviate what you and your son are experiencing. Prayers to you and your baby boy! I am so sorry!

  34. Mark
    January 29, 2015

    I have never been married or have experience the loss of a wife or girlfriend. Though I have lost my Dad and my two oldest brothers. I ask you to ask for God’s love and forgiveness. Forgiveness of the hatered you feel for the man that took your wife’s life. Through forgiveness we find peace, through God we find love and understanding. Understanding of the unexplainable hurt you and your son are going through. With this understanding you will find the peace to make it through each day knowing your wife while not physically with you she is with you spiritually watching over you and your son only wanting happiness for you and not sadness. God bless you!

  35. Marilyn
    January 29, 2015

    Dear Ben:

    I am so sorry for your and your son’s loss. At the end of this story you said that you want to be able to tell your son that his mother did not die in vain. Well she didn’t. You will be your wife’s and son’s hero as you are getting the message out there about elderly drivers.

  36. faith.
    January 29, 2015

    I am a 71 year old and and drive every where b/c i don’t want to rely on every one to do all the drs appointment, eye drs, grocery shopping. and every thing else i need. Lately i have noticed that my driving is ok but getting sloppy. I notice my neck is sore and i cant turn it good enough for window checking because of arthritis. I notice my reflexes are not as fast and i have gone through a few red lights due to paying attention elsewhere . I can drive. I don’t want to stop driving. But more than that i don’t want to die and i certainly don’t want to hurt any one else. Bottom line is that i have decided to give up my licence and us other means. The inconvenience is worth more than hurting or killing some one.

    • Life as a Widower
      January 29, 2015

      Thank you. Somehow i haven’t cried for a month but that just got me.

    • faith.
      January 29, 2015

      Ps. I am terribly sorry for your loss Ben, but i commend you for sharing this as it fortifies my decision to not drive so be very happy that you have reached at least one person to be aware that this is every ones concern that is on the road..

      • Life as a Widower
        January 29, 2015

        I really am. And I’m genuinely moved that you wrote to me.

      • Life as a Widower
        January 29, 2015

        I just thought I’d add something: I’m 35 and haven’t owned a car for 14 years. I walk, I get the bus or train and occasionally get a taxi. I shop online most of the time and when I don’t I walk round to the local shops. I guess I’m fortunate in that I live in London and the public transport infrastructure’s good but I’ve never understood why we’ve become so car-centric. People look at me like I’m mad when I say that I’ll walk somewhere that might take twenty minutes, as if getting into a car is somehow more natural than using my own feet. Obviously I understand that it becomes harder to do that with age but I’m actually nervous behind the wheel and I just don’t need a car enough to bother having one.

  37. Melissa
    January 30, 2015

    I had to put my foot down for my father because he was driving my own children around. I asked him to take a particular test that determines if he was really able to drive. There were a series of different things he was supposed to do. He could not accomplish the first task. That’s when they took his license away. It was the hardest thing for me to realize that was part of his freedom I was taking away. But, I would not be able to live with myself if he had hurt someone with his car. Thank you for your story.

  38. kristin nador
    January 30, 2015

    Reblogged this on kristin nador writes anywhere and commented:
    An eloquent essay about a tragedy that shouldn’t have happened. Impaired elder driving is something that is never talked about until it is too late. My own grandmother had two accidents before authorities took away her license. No one was seriously hurt, but many others are not as fortunate. Please read this, and start a discussion with your parents, and your adult children, so we can make sure everyone knows when it’s time to lay down the keys.

  39. Michael
    January 30, 2015

    Thank you for this challenge.

  40. debbie
    January 31, 2015

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have tried to get both my parents off the road in Washington State. They are 80 and both have alzheimers. Washington State continues to let them drive. I am so concerned they will hurt someone else as well as themselves. Very concerned but can’t do anything more. I wish you much success.

  41. Rae
    January 31, 2015

    I am so very sorry for yours and your sons loss! I commend you for bringing this to light once again, I just wish with all my heart that it makes a difference. Peace be with you.

  42. Felicia Scofield
    February 1, 2015

    I am so sorry for your loss.
    I am also grateful that you have shared your story as we, the family of the elderly need to be responsible and take action. My parents both lived to be 86 years old. My dad stopped driving on his own at the age of 80. I truly admire older folks that do this and I was so proud of him! Around the same time I knew that my mother should no longer be driving. However, she would not voluntarily give it up and I could not sleep until she was off the road. So my sisters and I sold our parents car. Do whatever it takes to get them off the road!!! They are mad at you for a while but at least you have peace in your life and you know they will not injure or kill another person.
    My husbands mother was taken into the doctor at the age of 79. He looked her in the eye and said, “You can no longer drive a car!” That worked nicely also as that is the moment we took the keys.

  43. Jennifer Conant-Warner
    February 2, 2015

    I agree with you, but our greatest danger are those that refuse to put their phones down while driving. What is so vital and urgent that cannot wait until you are off the road to repond. 99.9% of the time it’s useless, insignificant conversations and texts that can wait. Remember the days when you had to get to a landline to return someone’s call? Can’t you at least pull over or find a parking lot to return the call? Does anyone realize it’s a law now that you cannot be in a hand held phone while driving. Blue tooth is no better. You’re still distracted and for no good reason! Does anyone realize the danger involved in distracted driving? How thoughtless and selfish. It can wait! It really can. You have no right to endanger others and then proceed to cause accidents and kill innocent people. You don’t have the right to take other people’s lives into your own hands. Maybe if that careless, selfish woman who killed my husband who so and would have taken that into consideration consideration he would still be here today. And bear in mind, you don’t just injure or murder that one person, and possible their passengers or other drivers, you destroy the lives and hearts of their spouses, children, siblings, parents, friends and all those in their lives. What you do destroys not just the victim but everyone else in their lives. I don’t care or have any sympathy that you feel your life has been affected also and that you are ” traumatized” by what you’ve done. There is no remote comparison to what their families are experiencing. You’re just happy that you got to walk away and your life continues the same as before. You should be made to experience what we do. And the pain and suffering you caused when you destroyed his body. You deserve a life sentence caring for the people you murdered or maimed and their families. Nothing you will ever do will begin to compensate for what you’ve done. You are subjecting us to a lifetime of horrific and unending pain and sorrow. Please, think before you act. I feel nothing but disgust and hate towards you. Yes, if I see you driving down the road, driving recklessly because you’re so caught up in your selfish, criminal act, I won’t hesitate to pull you up short. You should be prosecuted for attempted murder every time you do it. I’m certain you would think differently if it happens to you or your loved one. You don’t have the right. There is nothing to excuse your actions. Think about that the next time you pick up your phone when driving.

  44. bmls87Andy Barnes
    February 3, 2015

    It matters little if you are a young driver or an old driver. Whenever you sit behind the wheel of a car you are TOTALLY responsible for what YOU do, in terms of controlling the vehicle.

    However at the age of 80 you should stop driving.

    Sadly that generation of war babies will never believe they are anything other than immaculate, so deaths like that described here will continue.

  45. faith.
    February 3, 2015

    Once again i will reply as all of the comments are related to road safety, However i don’t think Ben actually is referring to only older people. As many older people can drive and many younger people cant drive. It really is a fact to know your limits and to know what your road safety issues are. There is a little boy who has lost his mother and a man who lost his precious wife. A mate that you want to spend all your life with is very hard to find in this world today . To lose that because of another s indiscretion is is very very hard to get over . Therefore if family’s and friends do see some one ( anyone) that needs to be cautioned or even prepared to not drive any more that is the right thing to do to save others lives. I believe Revelation 21.3 @4 gives us hope for Resurrection to a better world, however caution in this system is necessary for keeping safer. I do hope Ben that are feeling just a little better with all the nice comments from people. If you ever want a ear to bend or need a comforting thought just email me and i will respond as sometimes it is easier to converse outside the family circle as it is to close.
    My email is faithiemash2@hotmail.com.

  46. Donna Nanton
    February 3, 2015

    I now saw this and I feel it for that gentleman, and I hope time heal his pain

  47. Chris Dunne
    February 5, 2015

    After over 40 months since my accident the recommendations from the ‘Fatal Accident Inquiry’ are released.

    http://news.stv.tv/highlands-islands/309227-cyclist-elaine-dunne-died-after-being-hit-by-car-driven-by-alice-ross/

    No grievance with the driver as such quoted by the press but why was she still driving a month after she’d had a blackout one month before?

  48. Camelita
    February 14, 2015

    sorry, so sorry, very very sorry to hear of your tragedy. To say that time will heal wounds is an understatement and sometimes rubbish. I have not loss a spouse, but I’ve loss many loved ones in quick succession at one point in my life. The kind of pain you feel, no psychiatrist, no antidepressant pills or the company of friends can cure or ease it. And sadly sometimes you feel like spirituality is no help. I cannot fully explain how I survived, but I did. And I know that you too will survive. You will be in my thoughts and regardless of your belief system – you will be in my prayers.

  49. binjameen
    February 19, 2015

    Powys is running driving confidence courses for the over 55s.
    http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/4201.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
    What happens if the driver is clearly unfit to drive?

  50. Honor Byford
    February 20, 2015

    Hi, my name is Honor Byford. I am the Chair of Road Safety GB, which is a registered UK charity that supports road safety officers and, indeed, anyone working to promote road safety education, training and information campaigns. Many road safety teams around the UK do offer older drivers training, assessment and refresher courses to help to keep capable older drivers up to date and driving safely and to support those for whom it is time to stop driving. Most of the older drivers we work with need some help to adapt to the effects of ageing but some really do need to find other ways to get around. We are currently working with the Department for Transport to develop a single national programme that will incorporate all the most important factors. We are also working with the Older Drivers Task Force, chaired by John Plowman. Then aim of this group of senior and influential leaders in their fields is to provide practical support for older drivers and their families in the form of a comprehensive national strategy. Initiatives to be considered include a focus on self-help, driver assistance technologies, better in-vehicle protection and road design for older drivers. The Task Force will review national and international evidence and best practice. It is expected to report its findings to government in mid-2016.
    As road safety professionals we are very aware of the concerns around this issue and the sensitivites involved. With a gropwing proportion of elderly people who have, indeed who need cars to get around, and the increase in some health conditions such as dementia, this is a high priority for us. There is a lot of work going on with all sorts of specialists working together to find the best ways forward that will reduce risk on our roads and also treat older people with respect and consideration.

    • Life as a Widower
      February 25, 2015

      Thanks for sending me this note, Honor. I’d love to chat to you at some point if you have the time. Thanks, Ben

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