Louisiana Restrictions for Senior Drivers
Some states have placed special restrictions on senior drivers because lawmakers acknowledge that as we age our ability to operate a motor vehicle safely may be impaired. Louisiana has instituted some restrictions, but these restrictions mostly deal with renewing your driver’s license rather than placing restrictions on driving.
Drivers who are 70 years of age or older must:
- Renew their driver’s license in person every four years instead of renewing their license online.
- Pass a vision test each time they renew their driver’s license or provide certification of a vision examination by an optometrist or ophthalmologist within 30 days of the license renewal date.
- Submit to a written and/or road test if OMV personnel believe a test is necessary.
Senior drivers who are involved in an automobile accident are often blamed for the accident even if they did nothing to cause the collision. Our Louisiana car accident lawyers can investigate your accident to determine the cause and fight for your right to recover compensation for your injuries from the at-fault driver. Don’t allow yourself to be blamed for a car crash simply because of your age.
Can Louisiana Place Restrictions on Driving Privileges Because of Age?
In addition to requiring certain drivers to renew their license in person because of age, the Louisiana OMV investigates reports of unsafe drivers by physicians or sources familiar with the driver.
A family member, friend or another interested person can file a Report of Driver Condition or Behavior to report a driver who has a physical impairment, impaired vision, mental incapacity or other condition that impairs his or her driving abilities. Physicians can report medical or vision problems by completing a Medical Examination Form. The reports are not limited to age. Any driver, regardless of age, can be reported for conditions that make driving dangerous or unsafe for that person.
The OMV investigates reports to determine if driving privileges should be revoked or restricted. Drivers can have one or more restrictions placed on their driving privileges depending on the outcome of the investigation. Common restrictions placed on senior drivers include:
- Wearing corrective glasses or contact licenses for vision problems
- Restrictions placed on time of driving (i.e. no night driving, no driving during rush hour, etc.)
- Driving a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission
- Installation of additional mirrors
- Wearing a hearing aid while driving
- Restrictions on driving radius from home
- Addition of hand controls to vehicle
- Only driving vehicles with power steering
These restrictions are designed to provide safer driving experiences for a mature driver by reducing the risk of an automobile accident.
Deciding When to Stop Driving Due to Age
It can be difficult to know when it is time to give up driving privileges because of age. No one likes to think about giving up their driving privileges because driving provides a certain level of autonomy. By giving up driving, many seniors feel they are giving up their independence. If your loved one has difficulty driving, you may need to have a serious conversation about giving up the keys to the car. Below are several signs from AAA that indicate you need to get involved:
- Your loved one has had two or more traffic tickets within two years; or,
- Your loved one has been involved in two or more collisions or near misses within two years.
AAA has a list of warning signs and information about how you can assess driving skills on their website.