Senior drivers need to feel the independence to get around on their own.
Many senior citizens may find that to be a luxury as they move into their older years faced with health and movement limitations. Age is not used to determine whether a senior driver has all their faculties to continue to drive but it does raise a flag to test certain individuals for any signs of diminishment with age. What does determine diminishment is added testing for visual, hearing, thinking and safety for all drivers as they age.
Drivers of advanced age may face a time when renewing their license at the DMV must be in person. Senior drivers will also have a shorter timeline between renewals for the safety of everyone. Check your state recommendations for senior driver regulations by clicking on your state:
Vision and hearing tests are mandatory for all drivers no matter what age. Having to wear glasses to reach the level of vision of about 20/40 has always been allowed. Macular degeneration and other diseases may cause an elderly driver not to reach the standard of vision any longer. Night blindness is another visual driving limit that may be placed on elderly citizens when driving. These circumstances cause extra scrutiny for drivers as they age.
Fact: Only 20% of those who need help hearing wear hearing aids. That includes all ages. Hearing is checked for all drivers upon renewing your driver’s license. Imagine not hearing the emergency vehicle coming behind you. It is not the DMV’s mission to stop anyone because of their age or impairment but to keep safety on the roads. Other health issues may restrict the ability to drive.
Drivers of advanced age may be required to take more detailed cognitive skills testing to determine situational reactions. A written test and a driving test may be required. Sometimes a refresher course to go to traffic school may do the trick to get them up to speed. If it is found that a restriction must be placed on a new license like daytime only driving, that license will be issued to the individual.
Most states allow family and others to report a senior driver online or in-person who is becoming a danger on the road—anonymously. The driver will be contacted to come in for a routine driving exam and may never know they have been reported.