Unlike many of us, Kirchmaier has a spotless driving record. That’s right. Spotless.
When Kirchmaier started driving in Chicago in 1927 there were hardly any ‘rules of the road’ to follow. All a driver had to know was how to make the car work. Staying on the roads, assuming there was a paved road somewhere for them to drive one, was completely optional. There were no speed limits, no hazard signs, no radar-toting police, and no traffic jams.
Times have certainly changed, but Kirchmaier’s driving skills have not. She told reporters that she was proud of passing her driving exam with a perfect score and had no intention of giving up her driver’s license. She started driving a 1927 Model A but currently she drives a 1999 Dodge Caravan. It is her only way around town, she said, and without it she would feel as if her freedom was revoked.
Not all drivers can so easily pass their driver’s exam. Senior drivers often face debilitating physical conditions which force them to relinquish their drivers’ license even though they need their vehicle to get around. Children suffer with the question of when or if they should take driving privileges away from their parents much as their parents once wrestled with the notion of allowing them TO drive.
Aging drivers do pause some amount of increased risk on the roadways, but so long as they are adequately able to complete the driving exam they pose no greater risk than anyone else. And in fact, people like Kirchmaier, show that no matter how old you may be it’s never too late to drive safe.