Seniors are supporting tougher driving laws for, well, seniors. This group also supports overall tougher driving laws such as bans on using wireless devices and ignition interlocks for those with DUIs. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that the vast majority of elders support a thorough license-renewal process for all seniors. The research found 7 out of 10 seniors supported drivers, ages 75 and older, being required to renew their license in person and nearly 80% wanted drivers, again 75 and older, to pass medical screenings to remain licensed.
Generally, the public perception is that elderly drivers are a hazard on the road. It would seem that seniors want to eliminate any threat on the road, even if that threat is their generation behind the wheel. In AAA Foundation's report, senior driving practices included:
- Almost 90% of ages 65 and older had no car accidents within the previous 2 years.
- 90% had no moving violations.
- 65% of 75 years and older drivers said they never use a cell phone when driving, while 48% aged 65 to 69 said they do not use a cell phone while operating a vehicle.
The amount of drivers that maintain a license and continue driving after the age of 65 has increased significantly compared to previous decades. Consequently, the AAA Foundation is also conducting a longer study that follows more than 3 thousand senior drivers for the next 5 years to record their driving habits. AAA's director of traffic safety advocacy says “with nearly nine out of ten seniors aged 65 and older still driving, it appears that additional years behind the wheel not only make drivers older, but wiser…it's promising to see a trend towards a more pro-safety culture with increasing age.” As more and more studies are finding teenage and young adult drivers to drive recklessly with less attention to the road, it is a good sign that the adage ‘older and wiser' is holding true.
Jay Ciulla is a personal injury and wrongful death lawyer.