Should elderly drivers be required to reapply for a drivers license? Yes they should. When we first apply for our drivers license there are several things that take place. one is have you reviewed the drivers manual and are knowledgeable about the rules of the road. Number two are you in good physical condition to be able to operate a motor vehicle safely. One thing no one can ever get away from is the process of aging, and with aging comes the deterioration of the body. How is this relevant? In most cases the first thing that starts to degrade is either hearing or vision. These two things are the most critical tools for driving. If you can’t see you will pose a major risk to the public around you. If you cant hear how do you expect to hear emergency vehicles that may be coming up behind you. So wouldn’t it make sense that at a certain age you would want to make sure individuals are still in good health.
You could make the argument that middle aged drivers account for a higher percentage of car crashes, however it is important to note that the amount of people and the average miles traveled are far greater than that of the elderly. In other words there are far less elderly driving and traveling less miles than that of middle aged Americans. Also keep in mind that the crash rate for Drivers 16-17 years of age is nine times higher than that of middle aged drivers. Then people aged 80 and older are at 5.5 percent higher for traffic accidents than middle aged drivers. (consumerreports.org, 2006-2014). Now lets compare the differences between young drivers and older drivers. Statistically speaking teen drivers account for about 4.4 percent more for traffic crashes than that of the elderly. But lets look at why. Teen drivers lack the experience of middle aged drivers and not to mention their brains are still developing. However with the elderly, though they have the experience now their basic motor skills are starting to degrade leading to an inability to accurately maneuver a vehicle. So going off of deductive reasoning, young drivers simply lack experience, which can only be improved with consistency and practice. Where as with the elderly, they are becoming physically incapable of performing motor skills, which is sad to say that not much can be done about these conditions.
What is it looking like for the future as far as the age of up and coming population is concerned? According to The Pew Research Center, 10000 “baby boomers” will turn aged 65 every day for the next 18 years. So by 2030 elderly drivers will account for 1 in 5 drivers on the road, and will out number 16-19 year olds 3 to 1. Judging by this fact, we will begin to see a transition of overall population between the young drivers to the elderly becoming the dominant population on the road, which I also predict we will see the total number of accidents by elderly surpass that of the teen drivers. There is also the issue of cost, every time a individual is screened at the DMV there is a cost involved to process the paperwork. In this regard 28 states have enacted a law requiring individuals to come in and be evaluated on their current conditions. Some states require every eight years, some require eight years then at a certain age it becomes every four years. So ask yourself is the cost worth the price of saving someones life? The answer is yes.
Going over these few facts, it is safe to assume that there are many aspects involved in what age group is doing what. But the fact remains that when it comes to elderly, age happens and there needs to be a “checks and balances” when it gets to the point of condition vs. the safety of the public. Keeping up to date on health is not a bad thing, after all we all go through different exams throughout our lives. So why would this be any different? Remember safety is the responsibility of us all, and being realistic with our selves can be the difference between life and death.