While some elderly motorists in Tennessee have the ability to operate a vehicle without any cause for concern, others may pose an increased threat to other drivers on the road. As people age, certain medical conditions and changes in vision can make it difficult for them to react to certain driving hazards. Furthermore, the use of medications and slowed cognitive abilities can exacerbate this issue. As a result, many states have implemented programs that assess seniors’ driving abilities and determine whether they should be able to continue driving.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, states may require elderly motorists to take vision tests, road tests and renew their licenses more frequently than younger drivers. In Tennessee, however, this is not the case. All drivers in the state must have their licenses renewed every five years under current laws. Drivers 60 years and older may have their registration fee reduced.
A new bill may require drivers over the age of 76 to have a vision test before renewing their driver’s licenses, as reported by the Times Free Press. Even if this bill passes into law, however, Tennessee may still be trailing behind other states when it comes to monitoring senior driving. According to state statutes and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Tennessee drivers who are required to renew their licenses may take the vision and written exams as many times as they need to until they pass.
Despite these renewal policies and proposed bills, some drivers are left to wonder if the roadways may be safer with stricter driver’s license guidelines for elderly motorists in the state.