Missouri requires older drivers to renew licenses more frequently

Older drivers may have more experience, but they also can be more likely to cause a crash due to age-related issues.

The longer a person has been driving, the more experience he or she has, along with an increased ability to judge dangerous situations and make quick decisions to avoid an accident. However, there may be an age when driving skill begins to decline. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are about 15 senior citizens killed and 500 more injured in car accidents every day throughout the country. This could mean that many older drivers in Missouri should not be behind the wheel.

In fact, states Consumer Reports, studies have shown that drivers over the age of 80 are six times more likely to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle crash than younger drivers. This may be due to a number of factors, including declining physical and cognitive abilities.

Reasons some older drivers may be at risk for accidents

According to NIH Senior Health, age 75 is when the risk begins to increase, on average, for older drivers. Accidents can be caused by age-related factors such as the following:

  • Failing vision or hearing
  • Decreased reflexes or motor abilities
  • Reduced ability to recognize or judge a hazardous situation
  • Injuries or health conditions
  • Mental conditions, such as the early stages of dementia

In addition, certain medications an older person takes on a regular basis can contribute to this risk, especially those that cause drowsiness or dizziness.

Elderly woman runs off Missouri road

The cause of a recent accident was unclear, but in November 2014 a 76-year-old woman drove her SUV off the left side of Highway 67 in Madison County near a curve. According to KSDK News, the woman overcorrected and ran off the road on the right side, hitting a highway sign. Her passenger, also 76 years old, was killed.

To prevent more tragic accidents such as this one, many states have enacted laws that regulate driver's licensing procedures and other driving matters regarding senior citizens. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, some states require older drivers to undergo physical or mental examinations before being allowed to renew their licenses. In Missouri, citizens over the age of 70 are required to renew their driver's licenses in person every three years, as compared to every six years for younger drivers. No additional testing is mandatory in the state.

Contacting an attorney

Not even the most stringent precautions can prevent or predict every accident. If you were injured in a car crash caused by an older driver, you may now be dealing with medical bills and other losses. It's important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney after a serious accident to discuss your case and determine if you may be eligible for compensation.

Keywords: car, auto, accident, injury