It is fairly common knowledge that Florida has a large population of senior citizens. As we age, there are many changes to our minds and bodies that can affect our ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. For example, as we age, we need more light to see because over the years, our pupils get small and don’t dilate as much in the dark. This makes driving at night harder for older people because our eyes are the most important tool we have when driving. AAA advises to not “overdrive” your headlights by driving at a speed that wouldn’t allow you to stop for an obstacle at the end of your headlights. They also recommend looking at the sides of objects as your eyes may pick up images better this way than looking directly at an object and to avoid being blinded by oncoming headlights by looking down at the right side of the road to avoid the glare, but to also maintain sight of your lane. Senior drivers must also learn to manage slower reaction times. Motor skills and flexibility decrease as we age which often leads to us making slower physical and mental reactions when driving. AAA recommends improving flexibility, selecting senior-friendly vehicles that are easier to get in and out of, minimizing left turns, and avoiding distractions and heavy traffic. Hearing loss is also a problem as we get older and can’t hear traffic, horns, and emergency vehicles.
In Florida, motorists are required to renew their driver’s licenses every eight years and in person every other renewal. Drivers must also pass a vision test or submit test results from a vision specialist at every in-person renewal. People over the age of 80, must renew their license every six years. Whether eighteen years old or eighty, drivers should always be looking for ways to improve their skills and make the road a safer place. Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents do happen and if you’ve been injured in an accident, call the attorneys at Givens Givens Sparks for a free consultation regarding your particular situation.