Does Florida Have Special Driving Laws for Seniors?
Florida has the highest percent of individuals over the age of 65 years in the United States. Approximately 19 percent of Florida’s residents are over the age of 65 years. While most states place various restrictions related to driving or driver’s licenses on their residents beginning at the age of 65 or 70 years, Florida’s restrictions for driver’s license renewals do not begin until the age of 80 years.
For drivers who are or 80 years or older, there is a mandatory vision test each time a driver’s license is renewed. In addition, mature drivers over 80 years of age can only renew their license for six years instead of the eight-year renewal offered for drivers 79 years of age or younger. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has instituted the Florida Grand Driver program. The program is designed to help older drivers remain safe behind the wheel. It provides helpful resources and information for seniors and their families about aging and driving.
Senior drivers are not inherently dangerous drivers. Each person is different, and no one should be treated differently just because he or she is older. If you are injured in a car accident, do not let the insurance company blame you for the collision simply because you are a mature driver. Let our Florida accident attorneys stand up for your right to be treated fairly in a car accident claim.
Are Doctors Required to Report Problems with Mature Drivers?
By law, a physician or any person with knowledge of a mental or physical disability that impairs a person’s ability to drive should report the person to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. You do not need to be a medical professional to file a report. You can report a family member, friend, or other person provided you have knowledge related to the person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. Furthermore, the report is not limited to senior drivers. Drivers of any age with an impairment should be reported to the department.
The Medical Reporting Form should be filed with the Division of Motorist Services. You can mail the form to the Division of Motorist Services, Attn: Medical Review Section, Neil Kirkman Building, MS 86, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0500. The telephone number for more information is (850) 617-3814, and their fax number is (850) 617-3944.
The report is confidential, and you are not subject to a civil or criminal action for providing the information. You can find more information about reporting a driver on the department’s website.
How Does Aging Impact Driving Ability?
According to Florida’s Grand Driver website, aging impacts your vision, cognitive, and physical abilities. Because of the natural aging process, your ability to see other vehicles, signs, pedestrians, lane markings, and other objects may be diminished. A lack of vision can increase your risk of a traffic accident.
Age also impacts our cognitive abilities. We may have trouble processing information and making appropriate decisions. Age can also impact our memory and attention. Physically, age can impair our strength, flexibility, and reaction time. All of these abilities are crucial to operating a motor vehicle safely.
It is never easy to know when to stop driving. It is also never easy to help a loved one realize it is time to give up the keys. Care.com provides some helpful information about how to talk to your parent about driving.