Safety Concerns for Older Drivers
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Late last month, a 100 year old driver in Los Angeles accidentally backed over a group of school children, leaving some children seriously injured. Though this type of accident doesn’t happen often, it brought attention to the issue of older drivers and safety.
Thirty states, plus the District of Columbia, have a law that addresses age-requirement for driver’s licenses. The laws can range from requiring vision testing to requiring seniors to renew their license more frequently. Statistics show that older driver’s have fewer accidents than younger drivers but they also drive less. Mississippi does not have legislation requiring seniors to relinquish their driver’s license at a certain age. Criss Turnipseed, of Highway Patrol Troop G, says they can only assess a driver during the renewal period. “If you have someone come in, a senior citizen, that has an obvious physical or cognitive impairment that’s observed by a driver’s license tester, that examiner could require that that senior citizen goes and gets a medical form filled out, a clearance from a doctor.”
A few warning signs that it may be time for an older driver to hand over their keys are dents or scrapes on the sides of the car, getting lost, or an increase in traffic citations.
AARP also offers a Driver Safety Program in the classroom and online.