Safety Tips for Older Drivers in Virginia
Most of us rely on our cars to get around whether we are 18 or 80. However, older drivers often experience failing eyesight and other health problems that make them less safe on the roads. The question of when you are too old to drive is a subjective one. Virginia has additional license checks for seniors. Here are some safety tips for older drivers in Virginia.
According to Virginia GrandDriver, older people experience deteriorating vision, physical strength, memory, and reaction times but this varies from person to person.
This does not mean seniors who experience a decline in their health should stop driving altogether. Older people can compensate for the deterioration in their abilities by planning trips more carefully, driving shorter distances, driving defensively and avoiding peak times on the roads.
As an older motorist, you should consider the following safety tips for older drivers in Virginia.
- Attend regular vision check-ups;
- Avoid driving in poor weather when there is bad visibility;
- Enroll in a driving refresher course for seniors:
- Consider enrolling in a voluntary CarFit event for senior citizens;
- Limit more hazardous maneuvers like left-hand turn and u-turns.
- Carefully plan your route ahead of time;
- Avoid long drives without breaks;
- Avoid congested highways at peak hours;
- Explore alternative ways to get to your destination in case you have to give up your car.
Older drivers in Virginia face an increasing number of safety checks, The Washington Post reported in 2014.
New requirements were imposed for when they apply for license renewals in person.
From the start of 2015, drivers over 75 years of age were no longer permitted to renew their license online or in the mail. They now have to apply in person at a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. Drivers over 75 must now renew the licenses every five years rather than every eight years as previously.
Before Jan. 1, 2015, the in-person renewal requirement in Virginia only applied to drivers aged 80 and older. More than 30 states and the District of Columbia have special license renewal requirements for older drivers. The DMV will accept requests to review the fitness to driver of a senior from anyone with personal knowledge that a driver could be unsafe behind the wheel.
About 12.5 percent of drivers in Virginia are 65 or older, the Post reported.
The licensing requirements of some states prohibit administrators from treating people differently solely due to their advanced age, states the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
More older people are being killed and injured on the road of America, according to some reports.
A recent study released by the nonprofit transportation research group TRIP found deaths in traffic crashes involving drivers aged 65 or older rose 22 percent from 2012 to 2016 nationwide. The number of seniors killed in the crashes rose by 16 percent nationally.
TRIP believes highway authorities can do more to help elderly drivers. The non-profit is calling for transportation improvements like better and bolder signs, improved lane markings, and overhead lighting. TRIP says safer intersections would cut the death toll for all drivers.
Driving in Hampton Roads can be difficult at any age. The bridges, tunnels and congestion are particularly challenging for older drivers. We hope you can take the time to read our safety tips for older drivers in Virginia. If you or a family member has been hurt in a wreck, please call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at (757) 231-5094.