You take a driving test at age 16, and you must pass it to get your license. However, many drivers never have to take a road test again. Is that wise? Some have argued that more tests are needed when drivers reach retirement age.
According to studies, drivers who are 70 years old and older have more deadly accidents than they did in middle age, despite being more experienced. Their total accident rate goes up as well, even for crashes that do not result in the loss of life. At age 85, fatal crash rates get so high per mile driven that they surpass all other age groups.
Teenagers infamously have some of the highest crash rates in the country. Even when they pass the driving tests, it is clear that they’re not always equipped to drive safely. This is often blamed on their inexperience.
However, these statistics show that it is not all about experience. Some people feel like road tests may help take driver’s licenses away from dangerous drivers before a crash.
Virginia has taken some steps in this direction. For instance, the state offers online training and testing. If a driver is 75 years old or older, he or she cannot renew a license by mail, but must go to the Department of Motor Vehicles office in person.
While it is clear that the state recognizes the risk, these programs do not take all dangerous elderly drivers off of the road. If you are injured in a car accident, make sure you know all of your legal rights.
Source: Mercury News, “Should older drivers undergo road tests to keep licenses?,” Matthias Gafni, accessed May 15, 2018