Driving is an important symbol of freedom and independence for many older motorists. However, physical and mental changes caused by aging can impact driving skills, making it difficult to operate a vehicle safely. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 6,165 people age 65 and older were killed in traffic collisions during 2015.
Common Causes of Elderly Driving Accidents
There isn’t a specific age at which an individual should give up his or her driving privileges, but older drivers are more likely to be involved in vehicle accidents. As we age, our reaction times tend to slow down, and eyesight frequently worsens over time. This can lead to an increased risk of vehicle accidents, which are often caused by:
- Delayed reactions to sudden or unanticipated hazards on the road.
- Difficulty staying in the proper lane.
- Overestimating the time available to turn ahead of oncoming traffic.
- Difficulty with merging and lane changes.
License Renewal and Special Examinations
Alaska drivers 69 years of age and older are required to renew their license in person at their local Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office by paying the required fee and taking a vision test.
State law in Alaska permits the DMV to reassess a driver’s competence upon written request from family members, law enforcement, or physicians. The driver will be required to submit a medical form certifying his ability to drive safely, and he must also successfully pass vision tests, a driving knowledge exam, and a road skills test. If a physician recommends it, a driver may be required to undergo evaluation and training by a certified rehabilitation center. In this case, he won’t be allowed to return to the road until the center provides a release to the DMV.
You Need an Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a vehicle collision with an older driver, you deserve compensation for your injuries. An experienced attorney can investigate your accident to determine the relevant causes, interview witnesses and gather evidence, and provide professional representation in pursuit of your claim. To learn more, contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.