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Keeping St. Louis Elderly Drivers Safe

by Christopher Hoffmann on May. 29, 2015

Accident & Injury Car Accident Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Personal Injury 

Summary: A driver’s license and car allows for the elderly to maintain a level of independence that they are not always willing to give up.

There are more elderly drivers on Missouri roads than ever before and research shows that they are having higher rates of accidents. This leads many to wonder if there should be a cut off for when an adult must cease driving. Not all accidents involving the elderly are their fault, and if your older relative was involved in a car crash recently, you should discuss your options with a St. Louis car accident attorney.

What Types of Issues Exist for Older Missouri Drivers?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has done studies that show that once a driver turns 70, the number of fatal car accidents increase per capita. Crash rates in general increase per mile traveled. This is due to the decline in visual, physical, and cognitive abilities as we get older. The trouble is, we lose these abilities at different times and at different rates, making it very difficult to pin point an age when the elderly should no longer drive.

Driving Requirements for Elderly Drivers

In Missouri, drivers between the ages of 21 and 69 are able to renew a driver’s license every 6 years. After your 70th birthday, you are required to renew in person every 3 years. In order to maintain the license, the driver must be able to pass a vision test, road sign test, and a written knowledge test. This is to ensure that they are still mentally and physically capable of safely driving. Depending on the results of the exams, an elderly driver in Missouri could be denied a license to drive or have the license restricted to the following:

  • Only being permitted to drive when wearing corrective lenses.
  • Driving during day time hours only.
  • Not being able to drive during rush hour.
  • Prohibiting the area where the driver is allowed to drive, such as on open freeways.
  • Only driving vehicles which have been equipped with certain mechanical devices, such as an additional side view mirror.
  • Only driving a vehicle that has extra support to assist in holding the correct driving position.

Talking to an Elderly Loved One About Their Driving Limitations

A driver’s license and car allows for the elderly to maintain a level of independence that they are not always willing to give up. A one-on-one discussion about their driving is a good start, but if you get resistance you may need help from a doctor or other close relative. By allowing an elderly loved one to continue to drive, even when they are not capable, is not only putting them at risk for an accident, but anyone else who happens to be on the road at the same time.

What you can do for an elderly relative who is no longer able to drive is ensure that they have options that still allow them to get around freely. Get other family members involved in taking them places or find a local transportation company that provides door to door service.

If your loved has been in a car accident, get in touch with a St. Louis car accident attorney immediately. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.

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