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Author Topic: At what age should you stop driving a bus  (Read 2455 times)
luvrbus
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« on: August 24, 2008, 06:50:45 AM »

Ok guys your honest and unbiased opinion approaching my 70th year on this earth in a year or 2 I know my reaction time is not what it was when I was 40. Dave Galey and myself has had this discussion several times and he quit driving his bus when he was 72 just like he said he would. I hate to give up my bus but I do not want to cause a accident and hurt anybody. I am in good health have all my hair,teeth , don't wear glasses and my weight is maintained at 185# but I have noticed older folk driving the S&S and it scares me and I don't want to be in that group.Please a honest answer from the younger and the older group here. FWIW I met a man and wife that was starting a conversion at 81 years old. So is it time to pass the keys off to someone else or not  thanks
« Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 05:17:55 PM by luvrbus » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2008, 07:03:05 AM »

When they pry the steering wheel from my cold dead hands.

 No really I hope I will know when the time is right to pass the torch. I think it is a different time for each of us. You sound healthy so enjoy. Listen to others (family and friends) they will let you know.
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2008, 07:11:31 AM »

  "I want to go like my grandfather who died in his sleep, not like Grandma, who was sitting in the co-pilot seat screaming!" 
    This is a decision only you (and your family) can make.  This can be a difficult decision and usually difficult to recognize as our abilities diminish slowly over time rather than abruptly.  Listen to family & friends.
   During my years on the emergency ambulance, I saw people in their early 60's that should not be driving. I also saw people in their 90's that were as sharp (or sharper) than I was.  I know one couple in their early 80s who both have very poor vision, but continue to drive their coach ( I have told them my feelings about their driving). Everybody ages at their own pace. This is one reason it is difficult to try to legislate a maximum driving age.  
  My grandfather (who raised me) stopped driving at age 70 after having a small fender bender with no injuries (he ran a stop sign). He said "I have thought about what I could have done by running that stop sign, I have no business driving. I certainly don't want to think I caused an injury or death". He gave me the keys to his car and never drove again.  My mother is 86 and is still a very safe, cautious driver. She will not drive any further than locally in the city she lives in.  Jack
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cody
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2008, 07:17:16 AM »

Several thoughts come to mind here, the first is that I would like to be buried in my bus and in fact, I'm recruiting pallbearers, so any volunteers can contact me lol, the second is the comfort knowing that I won't be able to hear the screams of my passengers as I peacefully pass from this world to whatever is waiting for me.  Actually, my wife and I have had this discussion, with my health issues it has come up several times. It's kind of an individual thing for us, but we feel that when we both agree that the time to step down is not when I feel I can't handle the bus, but rather, when she feels I'm unable too, we seem to feel as individuals we are immune to bad judgement or bad choices, but reality has to come into play here at some point and nobody knows us better than those around us and in daily contact with us.
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van
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2008, 07:35:25 AM »

Cliff ,for some one I already consider a dear friend age I think is not the factor here.I agree with Jack and redbusthat you will know when its time to pass the keys.I have a friend named grant who was still driving and riding his full dressed harley at age 94 and logs an astonishing 50,000 mi a year this bike traveling around the nation with his lovely wife faye.He to asked this very same question of me some 20 years ago,but when asked if he would ever sell me his bike always refused .You will know when this time comes,but it's always good once in a while to ask you're self this question ,it just means you alert ,put it this way when you take off on a trip to oregon and end up some where else like Hoboken NJ.it might be time to ask this question again

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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2008, 08:07:02 AM »

I agree 200% with Jack, redbus, Cody & Van! I have been driving for a living for 25+ yrs now. And in these yrs I have seen young drivers who were naturals, and some who were so scary their cars would run from them if they could! And on the other hand I have seen the ones who have been on social security so long they should be getting a pension check from it too! Some are as good or better drivers than I am, and well some are the ones who scare the **** out of us!
We had an old guy here in town who was well into his 90's and still drove & worked daily! He owned an insurance co with his sons, and I would see him drive to work and open the office @ 7:00 AM sharp every day but sunday! Well one day he went to lunch, and his son came across the street and asked me if "I'd follow him a couple streets over and tow dad's car back here to your shop"
When we pulled up I saw what had happened right away. Sam was backing out of his driveway, and some young girl ran into his back quarter panel. Of course it was legally & technically Sam's fault. But the truth in my opinion was it was also the girls fault too! Even though it was a residential street with no center line, it was definitely wide enough for a car going each way to pass and still had parked cars on either side. And Sam hadn't even made it halfway out of the driveway, and the girl was really using both sides of the road. In my opinion if she'd been paying attention she'd seen Sam backing out and been able to swerve and miss his car! (he never got in any hurry!) Well after Tom and looked at it Sam's car didn't need towed after all, but hers did. So Tom made arrangements with her dad to have it fixed, and asked me to tow it to the body shop of their choice (not Tom's or mine, but it was their car!) Tom wrote a check and paid for the damages out of his pocket. And everyone was happy! Sam refused to quit driving, because it was only a fender bender, and "it was that dang speed demons fault anyway!" As he put it!
Well Sam had been driving & insuring cars for 70 yrs, and had never had an accident of any kind before! But over the next yr or 2 he had probably 6 or 7 more little mishaps! And Tom tried to get him to quit driving after each and everyone of them & Sam refused. Then one day I was working on a bus outside and heard a crunch, and turned around and saw where Sam's car had run into the side of their office. He'd gotten out of it and forgot to shut it off or even put it park! Luckily it hadn't hurt him in any way! When I got across the street and asked him if he was alright. He was very shak'n and nodded yes, then he looked me in the eye and asked "Bryce do you think it's time I quit driving?" I got a little choked up, cause I wanted to just blurt out **** YA! But I just couldn't. So I told him "well Sam, you have had several accidents and now you done got out off the car with it still running and hit a building. I'd say that yes you might should give up driving!" He looked at me, and his car and then told me "Hook it up and tow it to A & J's (the local scrap dealer), and keep the $ for your trouble! Well I hooked up and towed it in back of my shop for the time being.
A little while later Tom came in to work, and went inside not knowing what had happened. Well about 5 mins later he came across the street and handed me the title to Sam's car. and just kept thanking me for getting Sam to give it up! I didn't do anything! But Tom was convinced it was my advise and opinion that made his dad give up driving.
Sam passed away not long after that, and I went to the funeral, and Tom again thanked me for getting to give up driving. And I told him and the rest of the family "I didn't do anything!" But they all still feel like I did. I asked them if they wanted his car back. And they were all shocked I hadn't crushed it like Sam told me to. I told them no I could crush a perfect running car, just to crush it! Well one of his grandsons was fixing to go off to college so they accepted it back. One day I looked up and they were in the parking lot walking around looking at it and talking and laffing. I walked over to see what was up, and saw the grandson had gone around and painted "IN LOVING MEMORY OF GRAMPA!" in each dent! LOL!

So who's to say when to give up the key's? You will be the best judge! If someone in the family asks you to do so, "for your safety" they probably mean it!
And if you actually do something and scare yourself or your passengers, it's probably time! But as long as you feel confident in your abilities, and are in control. DRIVE IT!
FWIW Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2008, 09:27:19 AM »

I don't think any of us can say online whether somebody else should be driving.  In my case I intend to take the advice of my kids and my friends and discount my own feelings.  I'm sure that will be easier to say than it will be to do when the time comes. 

I don't think age alone is the determinant.  All of us know oldsters who are still excellent drivers and no-so-olds who shouldn't be behind the wheel.  We have good friends who drove to Mexico pulling a trailer well into their 80's.  We drove with them in Mexico and I didn't see any reason for them to stop doing what they were doing.  They eventually gave up the long haul and now fly down in the winter.  My father on the other hand drove long after he likely should have quit and only ended up giving up the keys after he scraped the entire passenger side of the car coming out of their underground parking.  Nobody was hurt except the car.  He said the cop was looking really uncomfortable and obviously trying to get around to saying something so father pre-empted him by asking "are you trying to get around to telling me its time to stop driving?"  The cop nodded his head.  Father said, "I had already decided to sell the car as soon as it comes out of the body shop"  And he did. He was about 78 at the time.

Our current plan is that eventually we will downsize from the bus to something like a Class C or van conversion so that we can stay on the road but in a smaller vehicle.  I don't think I'll want to drive the bus to the places we will want to go when I am 80 but I hope we'll still want to go there.
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2008, 11:38:35 AM »

Our current plan is that eventually we will downsize from the bus to something like a Class C or van conversion so that we can stay on the road but in a smaller vehicle.  I don't think I'll want to drive the bus to the places we will want to go when I am 80 but I hope we'll still want to go there.

We have several friends that have done this. I think this is a great alternative to quitting completely, if you are capable of driving a smaller vehicle.  Jack
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2008, 12:24:41 PM »

Ok guys your honest and unbiased opinion approaching my 70th day on this earth in a year or 2 I know my reaction time is not what it was when I was 40. Dave Galey and myself has had this discussion several times and he quit driving his bus when he was 72 just like he said he would. I hate to give up my bus but I do not want to cause a accident and hurt anybody. I am in good health have all my hair,teeth , don't wear glasses and my weight is maintained at 185# but I have noticed older folk driving the S&S and it scares me and I don't want to be in that group.Please a honest answer from the younger and the older group here. FWIW I met a man and wife that was starting a conversion at 81 years old. So is it time to pass the keys off to someone else or not  thanks

When you no longer feel Confident behind the wheel.
When you are afraid to do the speed limit.
When you suddenly find yourself making mistakes.
and....
When you start complaining about Everybody else on the road... Grin

Good Luck
Nick-
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2008, 01:20:57 PM »

Uh..Umm... Wait a minute here.... We have all been there or will soon!

When you no longer feel Confident behind the wheel.
Finding that your GPS has sent you up and over Signal Mountain!
When you are afraid to do the speed limit.
Because you are Worrying whether your tires will hold together
When you suddenly find yourself making mistakes.
Making turns that you just know will leave paint on curbs and sign posts..
and....

When you start complaining about Everybody else on the road...

I thought that was NORMAL?

I have always felt that there will be a day for everyone when they figure out
it's time to get off the road. Some find out sooner and others never do.

I think that if a time comes that a driver cannot move their head to look around and be able to shift focus to the mirrors they should probably consider not driving... But wait.. Hmmm... That cell-phone glued to the ear also creates the same problem... If you can't put 110 % of your attention to driving, You probably shouldn't be driving....
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2008, 01:57:35 PM »

My wife will tell me, I'm sure of it. Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2008, 04:13:22 PM »

The oldest over the road trucker I remember the last time I saw him was 84. Still passed the DOT physical. If you drive everyday and can stay out of trouble you should drive your bus until you die. Small chance you will ever die behind the wheel anyway. I have known several truckers who died on the job, all of them pulled to the side of the road.

Share the bus driving, do the long flat stretches in the shady half of the day and let someone else drive the tougher hours.

I would be more concerned with maintence at 80 then driving if I live that long.
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2008, 04:20:21 PM »

     The answer depends on age. Every one under 50 wants the old farts out of their way. Every one over 60 wants those snott nosed kids to mind their own business.
     But in reality the decision is our own. Which is what we want. Unless some one gets hurt. Then we'll wish some one had stopped us. The answer is in the eyes of those who are nearest to us. If they break out into tears when we offer to drive, or refuse to allow their children to ride with us we should pay attention.
     We are always looking out. We don't see ourselves as others do. Even though we still see our selves as 30, with good vision, reactions, and judgment, we are aging. The effects are slow and hard to notice till suddenly you realize you can't do the things you used to. If the thing you can't do is notice that traffic has slowed and react correctly, or some one is pulling out in front of you, you've waited too long.
     Pay attention to those around you. They will let you know. Even if they may not mean to....Cable
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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2008, 04:29:18 PM »

This is a question with no answer!!
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« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2008, 04:45:15 PM »

Hi Clifford,

I do agree with other posters on this. Only You and Sonja will know when to hand over the keys. In my opinion I think you are in great health for your age, like you said, you still have your own hair and teeth.  Wink I would not stop driving just because I reached a numerical milestone. If you enjoy driving your beautiful Eagle, then by all means enjoy it and don't worry about it!

When you forget where you put the keys, then maybe you'll know the right time.  Roll Eyes

My Dad still drives and he is 85, granted it's not a 20 ton monster though.  Grin

Enjoy every day you have and don't worry about the small stuff.

Looking forward to seeing you and your wife again.

Paul
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« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2008, 05:08:41 PM »

luvrbus,

Great question. I have a fire Captain that can and does work circles around 25 year olds. My surgeon last year was 77 and teaches sx at a major univ. I would say give up your keys when YOU and YOUR wife think it is best.
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« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2008, 05:17:06 PM »

The fact you are wondering means you'll be fine with hanging up the keys, when the time comes.

It's the folks who are in denial of ever having to consider stopping that are the dangerous ones.

The attention to driving, the accumulated experience and the application of it cannot be measured by a yearly advance of this counter called age.

And the maturity and confidence to honestly self evaluate does not come automatically by way of age either.

Great topic, thanks for raising it!

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2008, 06:30:12 PM »

There are a lot of ways to prolong your driving.  Know your limits.  My dad is 90 and still driving.  He avoids high traffic areas, especially during rush hour.  Never drives after dark.  He makes sure he knows exactly where he is going.  Mom plays co-pilot, just like a gps. He drives a shorter length of time. DMV checks him every year with a driving test.  He drives more defensively now that he did when he was younger.  He doesn't hurry, drives the speed limit and doesn't push it.  Mom on the other hand, no way.  If you are honest with yourself,  you will know.

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« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2008, 07:41:46 PM »

I think you should give it up right now, this very day. Then sign the title over to me so I can enjoy it while I still have a few good years left myself LOL. I promiss I'll take good care of her.

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« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2008, 05:15:45 PM »

There are lots of good answers here, I still drive over 50,000 miles per year and don't think I am having any problems.  Left Lakeland FL Sunday morning at 4:00AM drove to Chicago, airline back. Drove through Orlando today at 5:00PM.  I won't tell you how old I am but in 25 years I will be 100.  Hope that I will know when the time comes to quit.
Jack
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« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2008, 07:02:40 PM »

Clifford

   I know why you posted this question, but quit beating yourself up over it.
The incident could have happened in your Jeep just as well.  Just be thankful
that nobody was hurt, except for it scaring the He!! out of you.  Oh, by the way
Sonja will tell you when it's time to quit.

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Pottsboro, Texas
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« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2008, 03:35:17 AM »

Clifford

   I know why you posted this question, but quit beating yourself up over it.
The incident could have happened in your Jeep just as well.  Just be thankful
that nobody was hurt, except for it scaring the He!! out of you.  Oh, by the way
Sonja will tell you when it's time to quit.

Catskinner!
Sonnie & Patti Gray
72 0/5 Eagle 3406 Cat
Pottsboro, Texas

I agree Sonnie!

After talking with Clifford today and hearing why he's concerned, I would be too! Now I know why he posted the question. But it didn't happen, just scared the crap out of him! Cry He will get back on his horse and start riding again soon, that is if he gets out of that jury duty.  Grin

Paul
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« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2008, 04:40:27 AM »

Clifford,

From one Cliff to another, We ALL have incidences every once in a while.

I drive about 35-40,000 miles a year in my job, I have the longest running (19 yrs) of no accidents or incidents in the company.  But in reality, I have close calls all the time.  Sometimes it just depends on who your driving around and how THEY are driving.

I think just by asking the question, that you have shown you will know when its time.

And when a friend like Sonnie says "but quit beating yourself up over it."  Probably really good advice.
Get out there and enjoy that beautiful bus you have.

Maybe I should start a Poll on this Huh   Grin  LOL

Cliff





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« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2008, 06:37:09 AM »

Clifford,

You've asked the right question and you've probably already answered it for yourself.

I'm probably a lot younger than you and most everyone on this board, after all, when I was 5 Cat was twice my age!

I grew up driving, tractors, bulldozers, heavy equipment of all types and sizes, Trucks, buses, little cars, big cars, pickup trucks and just about anything else that had a steering wheel, tiller or control sticks.

I was an Over the road truck driver for about 30 years, and averaged around 125,000 miles a year for a total of over 3 and 1/2 million miles of commercial driving.

I'll tell ya, I quit driving truck in 2000 because of various reasons, one was that I fid no joy in driving anymore. I've had people run up under my trailer thinking they could get a quick insurance settlement, DOT regulations, although being needed, have taken the enjoyment out of driving long stretches in the middle of the night, Auto drivers are not taught the rules of the road anymore, and it seems the police selectively enforce whatever rules they see fit.

The only thing I drive anymore is the bus, I just about refuse to drive a car as being a victim of some other idiots stupidity is not the way I want to go. My reaction times aren't nearly as good as they were at 40 and I would just like time to see the world go by from the passenger seat for awhile.

I'm tired of dealing with the idiots out there and I have a plan to put an auto in our bus so I don't even have to drive it on the open road anymore.

You know in your heart when it's time to stop, don't let a close call scare you, in fact, don't let anything scare you away from driving. BUT, when you feel you aren't up to the task anymore, think about it and then make an informed decision.

By the way, many senior centers, community colleges and state agencies hold periodic 'refresher' courses for older people.. maybe you could look into one. It might give you some insight into how you really feel.

Dallas
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« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2008, 08:08:48 AM »

The fact that you are asking the question means that you have a lot of years left behind the wheel.  And, it is not always the age.  A lot of younger people have no clue about how to drive on the highway and I have seen some middle-agers in S/S who don't know they should stay in the right lane, even when they have a line of tractor trailers and cars behind them unable to pass.  Physically and mentally, you will be the best judge of how much longer you should be driving.
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