When is it time to stop driving? That can be a troubling question for many Floridians as our state has more than its share of elderly Americans enjoying their retirement in the sunshine. By the time one turns 80 or even 90, often family members decide it is time for that person to stop driving. But how do you have that conversation? Driving signifies independence, and to lose a license might mean you are getting old.
News4Jax.com reports that Florida requires an eye test every six years for drivers age 80 and older, and based on those test results, the revocation of licenses for older drivers has more than doubled in the last 10 years from 3,559 in 2000 to 7,716 licenses revoked in 2011.
This could be due to the higher number of older drivers in our state. Statistically, older Florida drivers have fewer accidents. In 2009, state statistics show Florida drivers age 65 had a crash rate of 106.75 per 10,000 licensed drivers. By age 75, it was 98.27, and by age 85 it was 88.85.
The same cannot be said for younger drivers. Twenty-year-old drivers had a crash rate of 348.58 per 10,000 licensed drivers the same year.
Channel 4 reports that some elders have trouble driving because of a stroke, seizures, or dementia, and these folks definitely need to have their license revoked because of the dangers they pose on the road. For example, recently a car plowed into a Jacksonville fruit stand, killing both owners. The driver had reportedly experienced a “medical event.”
How to Take Away a License
A recommendation from a doctor can help ease the troubling conversation. Also, now you can make a confidential report to the state through a little-known Florida law. The form is on the website for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) and is Form #72190. You can remain anonymous, and no penalty can be brought against a doctor or anyone else who provides this information to the state.
Channel 4 says the local resource, ElderSource, can help an older driver adjust to life without their wheels and find a way to map a route using public transportation. Please contact the auto accident attorneys in Jacksonville of Farah & Farah if you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident. Call (800) 603-3640 for a free consultation.
Source: http://www.news4jax.com/morning-show/State-pulling-licenses-of-more-elderly-drivers/-/1875838/4695568/-/rmmc8b/-/index.html; http://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/faqmed.html