How old is too old? Stricter laws in NY state for elderly drivers Michael's Law.
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On November 06, 2017 in the town of Gates, NY Michael Booth (23) was driving to his job at the Wegmans warehouse, just a short drive from his home. At the same time an elderly man (87) was also on the road with a destination unknown. In an instant, our families lives changed forever. The elderly man crossed over the center median and collided with Michael's car, this accident was a medical emergency for Michael, he was rushed to Strong Hospital where it was discovered that he had suffered a severe brain injury, and so began the three month fight for his life. Where unfortunately he succumb to his injuries and passed away on January 18, 2018 a little over a month shy of his 24th birthday.
The elderly man Mr. Waldo Comfort, walked away from the accident with no injuries. Mr. Comfort who was observed at the scene of the accident to be very frail, with a slow and somewhat unsteady gate. Emergency response as well as witnesses to the accident were shocked that this man was driving at all. Later learning that Mr. Comfort has had several accidents through the recent years, and while at home he is cared for my an in home caregiver.
Whether it was confusion, a lack in ability to handle his vehicle, a slow in reaction and reflex, or a slue of medical conditions due to his age, his ability to control a 2,000 lb vehicle at the age of 87 is absolutely impaired on many levels. If this gentleman was not on the road that night Michael would be alive today, with his whole life ahead of him.
Michael's Law is a push for stricter laws in NY state for elderly drivers in regard to license renewal. Currently in New York State, law enforcement, physicians and or anyone who has observed an elder driver with lacking abilities can request a DMV re-evaluation. Unfortunately there are currently no state mandated laws to ensure that elderly drivers abilities, cognition and motor skills are up the recommended standard. Many states in the U.S. have implemented mandated testing and or Doctor approval when involving an elder individual and renewal of drivers license. This law is to protect everyone young and old alike who is on our roads, Michael's law is to ensure that another young person will not have to lose their lives to provoke change.
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