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Too Old to Drive in North Carolina?

On October 1, 2011, a woman died and two others were injured after a 95-year-old pickup truck driver from Virginia, age 95, struck them in a Smithfield, North Carolina (NC), Walmart parking lot. The age of the driver has concerned some lawmakers about the risks posed by very elderly drivers.

Already in North Carolina, anyone 70 years of age or older is usually required to renew their license in person at a DMV office. Also, when renewing a license, a senior driver has to take a vision test and may need to take a written knowledge test.

Driving is a symbol of independence. As people age, however, many factors can impair driving skills. The AARP offers these warnings signs for when it may be time for an elderly to stop or limit driving:
  • Almost crashing
  • Dents and scrapes on the car, fences, mailboxes, garage doors or curbs
  • Getting lost in familiar locations
  • Trouble seeing or following traffic signals, road signs or pavement markings
  • Responding slowly to unexpected situations
  • Trouble moving the foot from the gas to the brake pedal
  • Misjudging gaps in traffic at intersections
  • Difficulty concentrating while driving
  • Difficulty turning to check over the shoulder while backing up or changing lanes
  • Getting traffic tickets.

This North Carolina car wreck showed the damage that can occur when an elderly can no longer drive safely. To learn more about what to do when you or a loved one gets hurt in a car accident, check out our online library of articles devoted to the subject.


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