Does Connecticut Have Mature Driving Laws?
Some states have specific laws that restrict mature or senior drivers once they reach a certain age. Connecticut does not have a specific law that restricts the driving privileges of drivers over a specific age. However, it does have various procedures in place to help protect drivers who are unable to operate a vehicle safely due to age or other impairments. One concession the state does have for mature drivers is the ability to renew driver’s licenses for two years instead of six years. The fee for a two-year renewal is $24 compared to $72 for a six-year renewal.
Car accidents involving senior drivers can be difficult. The thought of suing a senior citizen is not appealing for anyone. However, you may have no choice if the insurance company for the driver refuses to negotiate in a fair manner. Before giving up, contact our attorneys to discuss how we can help you. The insurance company may become more open to a settlement once they realize you have an attorney and you are ready to proceed with a car accident lawsuit.
Elderly Driving Restrictions in Connecticut
The Office of Legal Research (OLR) completed a report in 2012, in answer to the question of whether Connecticut has any restrictions on or mandatory testing for elderly drivers. The OLR found that Connecticut does not have restrictions on older drivers nor does it have special testing requirements for mature drivers. However, the driving privileges for drivers of a certain age can be restricted.
The DMV can require any driver, including senior drivers, to prove they can drive a vehicle in a safe manner. Depending on the findings, a senior driver may have restrictions placed on his or her license that may include:
- Limits on driving hours (i.e. cannot drive after dark)
- Wearing corrective lenses to improve vision
- Requirement to wear a hearing aid while driving
- Limited access to some roads (i.e. not driving on interstates or highways)
- Installation of additional external windows
- Only allowed to drive a vehicle with an automatic transmission
- Installation of special controls or equipment inside the vehicle
Additional restrictions may be used depending on the circumstances and the findings of the DMV’s investigation.
Reporting Requirements for Medical Professionals
Medical professionals file a report with the DMV for anyone who has a chronic health problem or recurrent periods of unconsciousness that impair the person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. The requirement does not only apply to senior drivers — the requirement applies to drivers of any age.
Is It Time to Give Up the Keys?
It can be difficult to give up driving. Most of us associate independence with being able to drive. Giving up driving privileges results in a lack of privacy and autonomy. Therefore, many senior drivers avoid giving up the keys until something tragic occurs, such as a serious car accident. Mature drivers and their families need to understand the signs that indicate it is time to give up or limit driving.Resources you can use to help you determine if there is cause for concern include:
It is important to re-evaluate the abilities of a senior driver on a regular basis. Age and health conditions can cause problems with driving skills very quickly. One of the best ways to determine if there is a problem is to ride with another person on a regular basis. If you believe you are having issues with your driving skills, consider taking a senior driving class. AAA and AARP both have information about driving courses for mature drivers.