Chauffeur Driven Car Hire...
An issue for everyone on the roads is the increasing risk posed by many older drivers. They don't want to give up their licences and cars but with the baby boomers reaching their 70s and 80s, there are more and more drivers on the road with slower reaction times, poor vision and low confidence.
This is why there are now many programs run through vehicle hire companies to encourage older drivers to give up their car keys and take to being chauffeured to their doctor's appointment, hairdresser, family function or volunteer work.
While older drivers have always been able to call a vehicle hire company to take them were they need to go, new schemes are available around the clock seven days a week to offer the same flexibility as if you had your own personal chauffeur. The hire companies also provide drivers who are able to help fold wheelchairs and walking frames as well as load shopping and groceries.
One initiative in Atlanta operates when older drivers trade in their car for vouchers or credit towards trips with a vehicle hire company. Many hire companies are able to send their limousines as they are not as popular during the day as they are on weekends for weddings and functions.
Since the gap is increasing between our life expectancy and our safe driving expectancy' the need for more programs like this is important.
One such company is called the Independent Travel Network (ITN) and was established by Katherine Freund in Maine whose three year old was nearly killed by a car driven by an 84 year old driver. ITN has been on the road since 1995 and has given 160,000 rides.
ITN seems to be so successful because it is always there when needed and many older drivers are simply too proud to ask their friends or family to drive them and so it is easier to call a vehicle hire company.
Also, in Hollywood, a federally funded project has been launched where older drivers hire their friends and family to chauffeur them and are then reimbursed through a vehicle hire company.
While no one wants to take away the independence of older drivers, getting around safely is a priority for everyone.