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Safe Travels for Older Drivers

by  on  Accident Attorney

Keeping the roads safe while having transportation options available for older drivers can be a tricky task. People age differently and lose or retain skills at different rates. That being the case, it is difficult for lawmakers to develop or enforce a hard-and-fast rule with respect to when a driver is too old to drive safely but many states have developed a series of tests to monitor drivers as they age.

Senior Driver Requirements in Colorado

Colorado has a separate set of requirements for older drivers that are designed to double-check a driver’s eligibility as he or she ages and prevents unsafe drivers from keeping their licenses and posing threats to other drivers on the road. These rules focus on identifying and managing a driver’s abilities when age is a concern by requiring the following:

  • License renewal every five years for drivers 61 years of age and over
  • No online license renewal for drivers 66 years of age and older
  • Vision testing for drivers 66 years of age and older

Additionally, the Colorado DMV will accept written reports about older, unsafe drivers from a variety of sources, including the driver’s family members, law enforcement officers, doctors or the court. With these rules in place, Colorado can monitor whether a driver has lost his or her ability to see clearly and react appropriately when driving.

Alternative Transportation Options

For many older people, driving is a way to maintain a level of independence. Most day-to-day destinations can only be reached by car and many places do not have access to reliable bus or subway systems.

Going to church services, the grocery store, movies and outings with friends become difficult to coordinate if you can no longer drive, and many senior citizens refuse to give up their licenses—or continue to drive unsafely—to maintain their freedom.

The Independent Transportation Network (ITN), founded by Katherine Freund, is one alternative that allows older people to get around without having to drive themselves. ITN is reportedly the only national, nonprofit transportation system that provides this service in the country.

Freund got the idea after an 84-year-old driver struck her young son several years ago and kept driving. Freund’s son recovered, but she was inspired to provide an alternative to driving to keep older people from losing their sense of independence while keeping others from danger.

Although ITN is not available in Colorado currently, the idea of providing another way for older people to get around is important in every community. Older drivers are ranked second in the list of groups with the highest fatal car accident statistics, right after teen drivers.

These accidents can be caused by a variety of complications that come with age—blurred or weakened eyesight, slower reaction times and decreased physical abilities. These can all create risky scenarios, making some older drivers better suited to be passengers rather than drivers.

Avoid Accidents

At Levine Law, our Denver auto accident lawyers urge drivers to follow the state’s laws regarding license renewal and safe driver testing. Too many accidents can cause permanent and serious injuries or even death, and by opting for safer transportation options, these accidents can be avoided. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact an attorney at Levine Law Firm today.