Illinois driving laws that affect older drivers

An increase in speeds and mobile-device usage of drivers are just a couple of reasons behind the increase in auto accidents today. Problems with aging drivers that get behind the wheel of a vehicle is another concern. States, including Illinois, understand this growing problem and have passed driving laws that apply to older drivers.

According to the latest statistics from 2009, drivers age 65 years and older accounted for 13 percent of the total U.S. driving population. However, despite the low percentage, drivers in this category were involved in 16 percent of total U.S. auto accident fatalities.

It’s understandable why there are concerns with older drivers who get behind the wheel of a car. Studies show that as people age, vision, hearing, reflexes and cognitive abilities decline. Further, many older adults are taking some type of prescription drug which oftentimes adversely effects driving like fatigue or drowsiness.

Many states, including Illinois, understand this and have passed conditions or restrictions for drivers over a certain age.

Illinois license renewal requirements for older drivers

Many older drivers operating a vehicle within the state must renew their license more frequently than younger drivers. For instance:

  • Drivers age 80-89 must renew their drivers’ license every 2 years.
  • Drivers age 87 and older must renew their license every year.

Limitations on method of renewal for older drivers

For drivers age 75 and older, no renewal by mail is allowed. For drivers age 75 and under, renewal is available by mail as long as the driver has a clean driving record and no medical ailments regarding physical or cognitive abilities reported by a physician or community member.

Other requirements for older drivers

All drivers must take a vision test at the time of renewal. Additionally, a road test is required for every driver age 75 and older.

Mitigating auto accidents

It’s logical that older drivers want to continue driving as long as they can. Driving is a symbol of freedom-particularly in areas of the country where public transportation isn’t as accessible or because drivers live in rural areas.

Regulations implemented that affect teen or elderly drivers, or community initiatives like no texting while driving really help. However, it’s essential all drivers continue to do their part to help reduce auto accidents on the roads.

According to latest statistics, the number of driver ages 70 and over is expected to triple in the next 20 years.