State by state elderly driving laws - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

State by state elderly driving laws

Posted: Updated:

A recent fatal car accident in Florida involved a 79-year-old driver, who authorities say accidentally hit the gas while in reverse.

Three people died and four were injured. Now, a question a lot of people are asking is, how old is too old to drive?

There is no federal legal driving age limit, so doctors, family and the driver all have to be involved in making a decision.

And there are also tests that can help determine how fit someone is to be behind the wheel.

95-year-old Frank Fishman says he wants to drive again. The state took his license away about a year ago.
"I miss it and I'll do anything to get my car back. This is something that's very important to me," said Frank Fishman, Driving Test Candidate.

Jennifer Hall is a Certified Driving and Rehab Specialist who administers a competency test to see whether someone is fit to be on the road.

"We'll look at their physical abilities like how well can they turn their head and look over their shoulder. I do, you see the eye machine back here, I'll check their visual acuity, peripheral vision, depth perception," said Jennifer Hall, Certified Driving and Rehabilitation Specialist.  

And most of Hall's clients come from a doctor's referral. the debate about driving and age in Florida has been rekindled after a 79-year-old woman with a clean driving record backed into a crowd outside a church service, killing three and injuring four.

"But the majority of my clients are amongst the elderly they've maybe had a change in cognition or they've had the onset of a neurological condition," said Hall.

Hall says she makes a recommendation after a test but the state makes the final decision about whether to take someone's license away.

As for Fishman, the retired traveling salesman says he failed the test in the past but he's not giving up.

"It's something that I love to do and I hate to depend on people. I've always been independent myself," said Fishman.

An average of 15 people ages 65 and older die in automobile accidents every day in the U.S., according to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For a list of state by state elderly driving laws click here and to take the interactive safety self evaluation click here.

Powered by Frankly