By Jenni Bergal
By 2030, more than 60 million older adults could be driving on the nation’s roadways. But don’t expect many more states to put added restrictions on their ability to get behind the wheel.
Legislatures have become increasingly reluctant to restrict driver’s licenses for seniors or impose extra requirements — such as vision or road tests — for getting them renewed based solely on their advancing age.
That’s partly because older people are generally considered safe drivers, more programs exist to improve their driving skills, and recent studies have shown that many of the restrictions aren’t as effective as once thought in preventing traffic fatalities.
It’s also because a politically powerful group of advocates for seniors and motorists, such as AARP and AAA, argue that age shouldn’t be used as the sole measure of an older person’s fitness to handle a car.
“We believe that driving is about the ability and health of the driver, not their age,” said AARP spokeswoman Kristin S. Palmer. “We can’t stereotype older drivers.” [Read more…]