Older Americans Are Continuing to Drive Longer

On behalf of The Berger Firm Nov. 26, 2018

Thanks to advances in medicine, people are living up to a decade later than first thought. In 2015, there were over 40 million older people with driver’s licenses. That is an increase of about 50 percent in 16 years.

The number of accidents involving older drivers has also gone up. The growing numbers inevitably result in more opportunities for accidents to occur. When it comes to things like driving, it makes for an interesting quandary: At what age should a person have to stop operating a motor vehicle?

The Law Does Not Restrict Driving for The Elderly

Currently there are no restrictions on a person’s age impeding their ability to get a license; however, some argue that perhaps adult children should talk to their aging parents about giving up their licenses willingly. AAA reports that older people are, in general, a relatively safe group of drivers as they are cautious, know they have boundaries and eliminate things like night driving, and they have years of experience behind the wheel. At the same time, as people age, the body breaks down. Senses start to become less sharp, response time begins lagging and an overall bodily slow-down occurs.

What You Can Do

If you have concerns about your aging parents driving at an advanced age, you should speak to them about it. It is a sensitive topic as many older people feel like it reduces their independence. You should reassure them that you are happy to make arrangements for them to get to appointments, the grocery store and anywhere else they need or want to go. Before you talk to them, it is a good idea to have a plan already set to provide their transportation.

Time to Face the Facts

Aging is inevitable. While people are living longer, the human body has its limits. If you worry about your aging parents and driving, tell them. The increase in older driver motor vehicle accidents and injuries is an alarming trend, one that you do not want your parents to be a part of.