Due to a variety of reasons, seniors are working longer, which in turn elevates the number of senior drivers who keep and use their driver’s license. In fact, California’s Department of Aging estimates that Mammoth, Bridgeport, and other areas of Mono County will gain 200 percent in the number of seniors over age 60, and a more than 400 percent increase in the number of seniors over 85 by the year 2020.
Many of us feel that the more years of driving and driving experience we have should only make us better drivers and senior drivers are no different. The only problem with that is the older we get, the more susceptible we are to impairments, which means we must continue to evaluate our ability to continue to drive independently as a senior driver.
An excellent first step to maintaining your independence is to ensure you are fit to drive and keep your driver’s license. Read the DMV’s Senior Guide for Safe Driving, here to find out the actual requirements.
Deciding if You Are Fit to Drive as a Senior Driver
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to take a driving test to get your license renewed at the age of 70. It is your choice whether to renew your license or not. The DMV can require any driver to prove they are physically and mentally fit to drive. Their primary mission is to ensure the safety of all drivers and pedestrians.
Since many seniors are susceptible to cataracts, a cloudy covering of the eye’s lens, senior drivers must be tested more frequently for this condition and wear prescribed corrective lens or get surgery if necessary. However, that is an individual responsibility. Additionally, every driver must have the capacity to react quickly to changing traffic conditions, detect hazards, identify and read signs, and be alert enough to react and respond to roadway hazards. Fitness, not age, is the determining factor in keeping your driving privileges.
Senior Driver Traffic Tickets
Sometimes as a senior, you can receive a citation or even a suspension for questionable mental or physical conditions, lapse of consciousness, or skilled driving issues. If you are found unfit to drive by a law enforcement officer, you must prove to the court and DMV that you are capable of driving. This proof can include a vision test, driving test, or a written test. The court or DMV may request that you provide proof of fitness to drive from your medical doctor.
The best and first step to resolve any driving issues would be to consult with a traffic attorney. They can advise you on the steps you need to take to keep your license or get your license back.
In closing, pay attention to your health; exercise and proper nutrition are key to maintaining your strength, and watch for any possible signs that would make you questionable as a senior driver. If you are still fit to drive, and you run into a problem with your license, be sure to contact a traffic attorney so they can help you get on track to get your license back.
Mono and Inyo County Traffic Ticket Advocates
Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, and discuss your specific circumstances when you get a ticket or have an issue as a senior driver. Bigger & Harman only practice traffic law and have successfully defended drivers in the Owens Valley area.
If you would rather, you can correspond with us by email, email@example.com. Please provide a summary of the events that led to your ticket (and a scanned copy if possible) or when you have a DMV Fitness Hearing scheduled.
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The DMV Senior Guide for Safe Driving .pdf