Defensive Driving Blog

Too Old To Be A Safe Driver?


When it comes to driving safely is there a point when a person is too old? This is a question posed across the country every time an elderly person accidentally hits the gas instead of the brake and injures a number of people. Not too long ago this happened to a man in California who is 100 years old, with a valid driver’s license, no record of violations, who claims his brakes failed when he hit a group of nine children. There were injuries, but fortunately not severe. California has been taking a closer look at their laws on this subject after this and numerous other incidents.

Too old to drive?

Wrong Pedals. When A Driver Is Too Old To Be A Defensive Driver?

In Texas renewing your license is pretty easy and often can be done electronically with the regular renewal being every 6 years. But electronic renewal is not an option in Texas for people 79 or over and when you reach 85 you must renew your license every 2 years. This is no doubt to make certain you still meet the standards because of physical or mental infirmities. If there is any doubt of an older persons ability Texas may require applicants to undergo physical or mental exams or re-take the standard licensing tests for vision, as well as the written and road tests. A medical review board of health care professionals may also be called into this decision.

The DMV can decide to renew a license after this review or refuse to do so.  It can also restrict, suspend or revoke a license. Sometimes it is as simple as prohibiting night driving or restricting how far an older person can drive. Typically motorists age 70 and older drive less frequently than other age groups, but, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, they contribute more to the rate of accident fatalities. The death rate per mile traveled for drivers over 85 is 4 times that of the 30-59 age group. According to the NHTSA, senior drivers have trouble judging distances and speed causing a number of accidents.

A driver’s license represents a person’s independence and relinquishing it can be a traumatic experience. As our population ages, we will continue to address this issue. Right now 1 in 8 drivers are considered elderly but more than 1 in 5 will be 65 or older within the next 15 years.

Whether older or younger, a great way to refresh oneself on the rules of the road in Texas is to sign up at

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