Admittedly, it is a sad fact for a third of the country. Incredibly, some states do not have any rules in place concerning elderly drivers. It’s as if they do not realize that old age can certainly contribute to car crashes. Fortunately, here in Texas, we do ask questions.
No doubt it is usually a matter of independence. Older drivers are reluctant to give up their driver’s licenses and rely on other means of transportation. However, it is indeed an issue of safety. For that reason, Texas has laws in place when drivers reach a certain age.
Texas Law and Elderly Drivers
Let’s be blunt. What exactly is old age? Seriously, what constitutes an elderly driver? Many will be pleased to know that it does not necessarily start with eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits. Or, Medicare entitlement.
The Texas Department of Public Safety offers some insight as to what it considers elderly drivers. In Texas, there are additional license renewal requirements once drivers hit the age of 79. The specifications change further at age 85.
The changes are quite clear. As a consequence of turning 79, drivers are expected to show up in person to renew their licenses. Subsequently, the expiration period is six years.
Between the ages of 79 and 84, older drivers can expect something different when they make the in-person license renewal visit. For one, they will be required to take and pass a vision date. Additionally, they will need to undergo a basic medical evaluation.
All things considered, some might question the validity of the cursory medical assessment. It is conducted by customer service representatives, trained to carry out simple investigations. As a result of their findings, there may be a suggestion that drivers retake drivers’ test. In some cases, renewal may be refused. And, yes, it is possible to appeal this action.
At age 85, the in-person renewal process becomes more frequent. It changes to the individual’s second birthday after the previous expiration date. Notably, renewal fees are reduced for drivers holding both regular and CDL licenses. (There is no reduction in fees for those who possess motorcycle licenses.)
Assuredly, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles did not just come up with these rules on their own. They are guided by Texas Transportation Code, Sections 521.274 and 521.2711.
Elderly Drivers and Accidents
Undoubtedly, you have your own opinions and maybe even experiences with elderly drivers. Unfortunately, you may be convinced that someone’s age had everything to do with the motor vehicle accident that caused your injuries.
According to a news article a few years ago, older drivers only rival teens when it comes to involvement in car crashes. In fact, this source states that “people 80 and older are involved in 5.5 times as many fatal crashes per mile driven as middle-aged drivers.”
The United States Department of Transportation quantifies the numbers on a national basis. It finds that thousands of accidents were caused by drivers over age 65.
Presumably, there are a few reasons that elderly drivers can be more prone to becoming involved in car wrecks. Here are some issues for consideration:
- Problems with limited vision
- Slower reaction times
- Medical emergencies
- Medication reactions
- Onset of dementia
Although Texas is proactive in attempting to ensure road safety, accidents do happen. For this reason, it is important to seek the services of an experienced personal injury attorney if you are involved in a crash. You will benefit from an understanding of your legal remedies.
Need Legal Advice?
Injuries of any type of accident can be challenging. If you require legal advice regarding a motor vehicle crash, de Lachica Law can provide it to you. Contact our office to determine the best time to meet with us.