Legal Changes for Senior Drivers

Legal Changes for Senior Drivers in the US

For most baby boomers in the US, driving is an expression of their inner spirit and represents freedom and independence rather than a daily routine. With growing age, it becomes increasingly important for senior drivers to understand the legal changes related to aging in the US, in order to help them cope better with driving and in being responsible citizens.

Interestingly, one of the important research findings is that older drivers are not as prone to risk as adult drivers. Also, senior drivers are less reckless than young adult drivers. It is true that there is significant deterioration of vision with old age, but this generally does not affect their driving-related skills. Many older drivers are quick to compensate by restricting driving to:

  • Daylight hours
  • Off-peak traffic hours
  • Familiar roads
  • Shorter trips
  • Lower speed roads

The DMV Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) and legal changes on senior driving

The Myth: The DMV re-examines a driver’s license once he reaches a certain age.

Fact : Age is not the only factor that the DMV determines while re-examining your license. It also takes into account your physical and mental condition and accordingly you might have to undergo certain legal changes as instructed by them.

The Department of Motor Vehicle does not impose legal changes on senior drivers out of the blue. The DMV makes sure that the restrictions are imposed only after conducting a driving test and speaking with the senior driver. v Broadly speaking, two types of restrictions can be imposed on senior driving – discretionary as imposed by the DMV and mandatory as directed by law. The good thing is that most of the time these restrictions are flexible and are subject to a senior driver’s ability. Some of the restrictions that are common all over the US for senior drivers are:

* Requiring special devices on the senior’s automobile
* Limiting when and where a senior may drive
* Use of automatic transmission due to limited vision