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North Carolina Restrictions for Elderly Drivers

Sep 28, 2012 Brown Moore & Associates Car Accidents

A driver’s license provides many motorists with an opportunity to be self-sufficient. They no longer have to depend upon another person to drive them around town. They are free to go where they want, when they want.

When drivers get older, some of them start to lose some of the skills that are necessary for safe driving. Perhaps they have problems with their eyesight, or they are just experiencing a general slowdown of their reaction times, which could lead to increased motor vehicle accidents.

Knowing when to take the keys away from an elderly driver is very difficult, and many older drivers are reluctant to give up the freedom that their vehicles provide. This can make it challenging for families to show these drivers that they may be subjecting other motorists to potential accidents.

North Carolina has specific driver’s licensing rules in place. All drivers must renew their license every eight years. This must be done in person, as a vision test is required each time. When drivers hit age 66, the requirements change. North Carolina motorists over this age must renew licenses every five years.

However, this five year time period between license renewals may allow for problems to remain unaddressed for a significant period of time. Some may encourage elderly drivers to attend refresher courses, to allow them to relearn some of the rules of the road. The older the driver is, the more important it becomes for family to pay close attention to an elderly individual’s driving habits.

As this issue starts to receive closer attention, there has been some demand for national standards to be passed that would address elderly drivers. However, each state is still free to determine how to regulate drivers within their borders. Unfortunately, these changes never happen unless a serious motor vehicle accident happens.

Source: Fox News “How States are Dealing with Older Drivers” September 17, 2012.