People over the age of 60 should be required to retake their road test every three years


Credit: Alex Buckley

Crash damage after an elderly man crashed into Alex Buckley’s parked car. Leaving both cars totaled, the elderly man was ushered to the hospital in an ambulance.

Alex Buckley, Sports Team

Photo of Alex BuckleyObtaining your driver’s license as a teenager is a big thing. It allows you to be free and spread your wings into adulthood. But, as you age and move through life, so will your driving skills and at some point those skills start to decline.

People over the age of 60 should be required to retake a drivers test every 3 years to renew their license. Body deterioration is very commonly noticed in people ages 40 and up and this can affect simple motor skills like sight and hearing. At a certain age, these issues really start to add up and having the elderly behind the wheel starts to become a major risk to other drivers.

Recently, I was involved in an accident and the other vehicle was operated by a very elderly man. He was fully at fault for the accident, and he hit my car while it was simply parked on the side of the road. I was parked outside of a middle school after dismissal, and there were still students walking around outside up and down the street.

Accidents like this could be avoided very easily by enforcing the retaking of the drivers test after the age of 60. This would allow people of all ages to be able to drive, but it ensures that everyone on the road is still up to the standard that was previously set when they got their license. This may seem like a harsh precaution to be set, but ensuring the safety of the road is pretty important.

Also, it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle. Having people take the test and spend a little more time out of their day to keep the roads safer and just more secure is worth it because every 8 years you have to renew your license already. During a routine renewal, you aren’t required to take a road test or written test, but if any signs of impairment are shown on the visual tests, a road test may be required by the Secretary of State.

What I recommend is to just turn those 8 year renewal periods into 3 year segments for people 60 years of age and up and require a quick road test at every renewal.

These road tests may start to require many more road examiners to be hired, but this is just a boost in jobs and the economy. Some may argue that in the current state of the job market this is a large negative, but I disagree with this statement completely. The new increased test rate would allow many new positions, and most importantly, it would keep unsafe drivers off the roads.

These tests will also pose a great refresher course to many older drivers, as well as ensuring that people of age still know all the rules of the road. In addition to refreshing our skills and knowledge of the road, these tests could easily get some dangerous drivers off the road. It can be very hard to tell yourself, “I’m not safe to drive,” just because of sheer old age, but sometimes that is a must.

The reality is, human bodies start to deteriorate after the age of 30. Professionals at the Merck Manual say bones may lose minerals to weaken strength, muscles and tendons will tighten making you less mobile and reaction times will start to decline. These side-effects of aging are the primary reason why people over the age of 60 should begin to be retested on their driving capabilities.

Aging can affect everyone differently and many people, over the age of 60, will still be fully capable of driving. Unfortunately, some people may lose touch with their quick reflexes and sharp decision making, resulting in unsafe driving conditions, and an accident waiting to happen.

This is why enforcing the safety of the road and keeping these unsafe elderly drivers off the road is a must. Enforcing driving tests every three years past the age of 60 would solve this problem and help prevent accidents in the future, alongside refreshing the elderly on the rules of the road. Overall, it would help the safety of the roads and keep more people safe.