New Senior Driver Law in Virginia
As of January 1, 2015, Virginia drivers over 75 must renew their licenses in person every five years. This new senior driver law means they can no longer renew their licenses online or by mail. They will also be required to pass the department’s vision test or present a recent vision statement.
Current driver rules require seniors to renew their licenses every eight years. Nobody need to renew their licenses until their current licenses are set to expire.
Aging Comes with Health Changes
Even if seniors are some of the safest drivers on the roads, aging comes with health changes that can affect driving. Vision, hearing, memory, strength, and reaction time decline with age. The rate of change, however, varies greatly from person to person.
Drivers of all ages, need to ask themselves this question from time to time: Am I a safe driver?
Any driver who is unsure of their performance should talk it over with a trusted friend or family member, or attend a CarFit event nearby. CarFit is an educational program that offers senior drivers the opportunity to check how well their vehicles “fit” them. When you attend a CarFit event, a trained professional will complete the 12-point CarFit checklist.
Lower Insurance Premiums
By enrolling in a driving refresher course for senior drivers or completing a crash prevention course in a classroom, seniors may receive lower insurance premiums from their auto insurance company.
Know the Signs
If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions, you should follow up with someone to ensure safe driving:
- Suffered a stroke or heart attack?
- Have diminished eyesight or hearing?
- Experienced difficulty in negotiating sharp turns and intersections?
- Hesitated over right-of-way decisions?
- Been surprised by the sudden presence of other vehicles or pedestrians?
- Received negative feedback from other drivers?
- Become lost on familiar routes?
- Felt nervous on high-speed freeways?
- Felt exhausted after driving?
- Been cited for traffic violations or found at fault in a crash?
Resource: Virginia DMV has created a new website with resources and information for elderly drivers at granddriver.net