Earlier this month, an Apollo Beach motorcyclist suffered serious injuries in an accident involving a car being operated by a senior motorist. That motorist was 100 years old. The motorist had never been involved in an accident before, but this accident has once again caused Orlando motorcycle accident attorneys to raise questions about the wisdom of allowing driving privileges for people of a certain age.
According to the Florida Department of Transportation, the state currently has about 455 licensed motorists who are above the age of 100. There are 39 of these motorists in Pinellas County, 22 in Pasco, 16 in Hillsborough and 4 in Hernando County.
That is just the motorists who are aged 100 and above. The number of licensed motorists between 91 and 100 years in Florida is about 65,000.
Florida has some of the highest numbers of senior drivers in the US because of its reputation as a retirement hub. Seniors get a lot of bad rep for their driving skills. However, the fact is that senior drivers above the age of 90 account for some of the fewest accidents in the state.
These motorists have some of the lowest crash rates in Florida. In the 15 to 19 year age demographic, there are about 364 accidents for every 10,000 licensed drivers. However, in the above-90 age demographic, there are just 79 accidents for every 10,000 licensed motorists.
However, those facts are not sufficient to placate the family of the motorcyclist who was seriously injured in this particular senior driver-related accident. They're calling for driving tests to determine whether a senior is able to drive, before his or her driver’s license is renewed. Currently, the law only requires senior drivers to submit to a vision test every 6 years.