Driving is a skill that, like others, develops over time. That said, your abilities as a driver are dependent on your physical and mental acuity. As you age, you’ll accrue more time behind the wheel but may experience a decay in your vision or judgment. In fact, senior drivers are a close second to teen drivers as the group most likely to be involved in an accident. Read on to learn about special considerations for driving in your golden years, and ways to ensure you stay safe on the road.
License renewal over age 75
Like a number of states, Mississippi has put certain safeguards in place to ensure that older drivers continue to have the ability to drive safely in order to keep their driver’s license. Once a Mississippi driver is 75 years of age or older, they can no longer renew their driver’s license online or at a kiosk, but instead must renew their license in person. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) will conduct a vision test at the renewal appointment and may require that the driver undergo a written or road test, if they have some indication that the driver may be impaired. The DPS has the right to limit driver’s licenses for older drivers who show signs of impairment, such as by prohibiting them from driving on the freeway, driving at night, or driving during certain times of day such as rush hour.
Signs of diminished ability
There are a number of signs to look out for that can indicate diminished driving skills. Take note if you experience any of the following:
- An increase in the number of close calls or near-misses you experience
- Getting lost with more frequency, even in places you’ve been before
- Finding that a gap in traffic was smaller than you thought
- Becoming easily distracted behind the wheel
- Feeling overwhelmed at busy intersections
- Getting honked at or yelled at more often by other drivers
Evaluate and fortify your skills
There are several ways to evaluate your driving abilities if you’re concerned about your safety on the road. One simple check is the AAA’s self-evaluation checklist, available for free on their website. The brochure provides both a survey of your driving skills, as well as tips on how to improve any weak spots. There are also companies that offer behind-the-wheel driving evaluations. Your physician can also provide an assessment of your sensory and judgment abilities. In order to bolster your driving skills, there are a number of courses you can take, such as the AARP’s Smart Driver course, which can both improve your driving skills and possibly help you get a discount on your car insurance.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident in Mississippi, seek experienced, dedicated, and aggressive representation in a claim for money damages, and contact the Gulfport personal injury attorney Corban Gunn for a consultation, at 228.284.6805.