Driver Eyesight – Brake the Road Safety Charity
Introduction: Today I am going to be talking to you about why people over the age of 65 should be required to take a yearly driving test. Have you ever been driving to work, school, the mall or wherever you’re trying to get and you get stuck behind an old person going 20 in a 45? Or have an elder pull right out in front of you? Well same. Many older drivers are not in the proper state to be driving, and they should not be able to drive behind the wheel until they have taken the steps to prove they’re capable to drive on their own.
Main Point 1: Vision Loss
A major cause of elderly accidents are due to vision loss, as you get older it is more difficult for your eyes to adjust to the changes in light. This is especially dangerous at night. States have made it a requirement for drivers to get vision tests at certain ages: Maine and Maryland begin vision testing at age 40, Oregon age 50, Georgia age 64, and Florida are 80. Illinois and New Hampshire require older drivers to retake road test when renewing their license. Michigan however has no older age requirements- just that everyone renews every 4 years. Anyone however may report a potentially unsafe driver to the Secretary Of State office and authorities may require that person to pass a driving or vision test, or any other tests they find necessary.
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Main Point 2: Diseases
Diseases are very common in elders which can really affect their driving. Diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma, which are very common in those over 65, can make it harder to see colors or read signs. This could result in running through a red light, crosswalk, roundabout etc. Weaker muscles, reduced flexibility and limited range of motion restrict senior drivers ability to grip and turn the steering wheel or press the pedal or brake. Since older drivers are more fragile their fatality rates are 17 times higher than those of ages 25-64. Which brings me to my next point.