For many Texas seniors, driving is an important part of their independence, and is among the hardest things for people to give up as they age. However, there usually comes a time when a senior’s driving abilities are so compromised due to age, that it’s time to give up this privilege.
Here is a checklist that family members of senior drivers can use to help determine the telltale signs of decline:
- Driving too fast or too slow;
- Asking passengers for assistance to see if it is safe to pass or turn;
- Slow or no response to pedestrians, bicyclists or other drivers;
- Ignoring or misinterpreting traffic signs and signals;
- Failure to yield to others who have the right of way;
- Failure to correctly judge distance;
- Outbursts of frustration and anger while driving;
- Appearing frightened or confused while driving;
- Having one or more near-misses or accidents;
- Drifting from lane to lane and running over curbs;
- Forgetting to turn headlights on when needed;
- Difficulty seeing after dark;
- Difficulty turning their head, neck or body while driving;
- Difficulty turning the steering wheel;
- Getting lost repeatedly.
While the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles does not have an age limit on drivers, every driver aged 79-84 must renew his or her license in person and pass a vision test every six years. Those who are 85 or older must also renew his or her license in person and pass a vision test every two years. Those who fail to pass the required vision test may have restrictions placed on his or her license.
It may be difficult to convince an elderly family member that they are putting themselves or others in danger with unsafe driving habits. A number of medical facilities offer driving evaluations that can help you keep the senior drivers in your family out of harm’s way.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, the experienced personal injury legal team at Roberts & Roberts is here to help with compassionate, aggressive representation. Please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.