Driving is a hallmark of independence. It’s unfortunate that as we age, some of our abilities naturally decline, sometimes impacting our ability to drive safely. And that affects not just us but those around us: our passengers, other drivers, pedestrians, and our families. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that crash deaths start increasing between the ages of 70 and 74 and are the highest for drivers who are 85 years old or older.
To reduce these risks, most states have special laws for older drivers. Louisiana is no exception. It has special rules relating to license renewal, vision screening, and driver investigations.
Because the decline in our vision, thinking, and motor skills can happen quickly, Louisiana requires older drivers to renew their licenses more often. In Louisiana, drivers who are 70 years old or older must renew their licenses every four years. They must also renew their licenses in person. They are not eligible to renew online.
Louisiana also requires vision tests for drivers 70 years old or older. The Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) gives these tests for free. If a driver prefers, he or she can have the test conducted by an outside ophthalmologist or optometrist. When this option is chosen, there is a specific form that must be used.
The OMV takes requests to investigate drivers, including older drivers. Any person who is familiar with a driver can make the request. Examples of reasons an investigation might be requested include “lack of skill/ability,” “physical impairment/infirmity,” and “mentally incompetent.” A doctor can also report conditions that may affect a driver’s ability to drive directly to the OMV.
The OMV has the ability to put restrictions on a person’s driver’s license. A very common restriction is that a driver must wear his or her glasses or contact lenses when driving. However, there are many other types of restrictions. Here are some examples:
- driving only cars that are automatics or that have power steering;
- driving within a certain number of miles of home;
- driving only during the day; and
- driving only cars that have certain types of mirrors.
At the Wright Pichon & Gray, we would prefer that car wrecks not happen at all. But when they do, we fight for our client’s rights. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you may be entitled to money damages. Contact us today for a free case review. We will help you get back on track.