Are additional driving tests for the elderly an effective measure for driving safety?

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  • Are additional driving tests for the elderly an effective measure for driving safety?

While many states either already implementing or thinking about adding additional license requirements to gauge whether elderly drivers should stay on the road, it remains to be seen what effects could potentially be seen in car payments.

While many states either already implementing or thinking about adding additional license requirements to gauge whether elderly drivers should stay on the road, it remains to be seen what effects could potentially be seen in car payments.

One such state that employs additional testing is New Hampshire, where only 9 percent of the states car accidents involved senior citizens while they made up almost 15 percent of state's licensed drivers, according to the Boston Globe.

According to Manchester Division of Motor Vehicles licensing officer Jeff Oberdank, there is likely a link to the 900 elderly drivers who fail the tests administered to them each year, the Globe also reported.

However, a 2007 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the Federal Highway Administration titled "Older Driver Safety" found somewhat less conclusive results between extra testing and lower crash rates. While it noted that a number of states had implemented testing for seniors that include frequent in-person license renewals, mandatory vision screenings and road tests, and physician reports to assess the driver's fitness, the report found that only the in-person renewals led to lower accident rates and that much of the other testing was note regulated enough from state to state to provide conclusive results.

Instead, the report's conclusions contained recommendations to improve visual aspects of roadways - larger letters on signs, placing street name signs before intersections, and improving intersection layouts - instead of pushing for additional senior testing.

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Posted: August 4, 2009

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