You mainly hear about the tragedies and strange accidents caused by elderly drivers in Florida, while many seniors drive safely on a daily basis. But, the concerns about elderly drivers in Florida are real. As people age they experience reduced sensory acuity (eyesight, in particular) and health issues that may affect driving abilities.
The first issue for elderly drivers in Florida (and those who care about them) is knowing when it’s time to stop driving. Florida doesn’t require general retesting of elderly drivers. However, Florida has instituted a vision test requirement for drivers license renewal. Since 2004, elderly drivers in Florida over the age of 80 have to pass a vision test when they renew their license. Elderly drivers in Florida can get a free vision test at a drivers license office or they can have a qualified medical professional administer their vision test and complete the required form. Here’s a link to the Florida drivers license vision test requirement and FAQs.
What about elderly drivers in Florida who have good vision but have other problems affecting driving (or are in between renewals)? You can report an unsafe driver using Florida form #72190. The report is confidential and begins a process whereby the state gathers information to determine the driver’s qualifications. Obviously, where possible, it is preferable to have a conversation with the person about the possibility of giving up driving. Be aware also that the Florida process will take some time, so filling out this form will not result in immediately getting the driver off the road. You might want to consider a senior driving assessment as a tool in deciding whether it’s time to voluntarily give up driving. Our care managers can help arrange assessments, navigate the conversations around driving safety and help determine the most appropriate senior transportation resources for you.
When elderly drivers in Florida decide to (or are forced to) give up driving, alternative transportation is an important consideration. Senior transportation options in Florida range from public transportation like buses and DART to private options such as taxis or driving services.
EasyLiving Senior Transportation Services can be a great custom option. Lyft Concierge gives seniors without smartphones the option of using the on-demand ride service with just a regular phone call, plus added security for them and their family members. Even for seniors who have not stopped driving, there may be times it would be nice to use our concierge services for long drives, driving at night or transportation to a special event. Family members can even purchase gift certificates to pay for rides or other errand services!
In addition to senior transportation options, many in-home services can make life easier if a senior no longer drives (or limits driving). EasyLiving offers meal preparation and assistance with errands like shopping and household tasks. You can also consider signing up for grocery delivery. Shipt is a service that covers the Tampa Bay, Orlando and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale areas in Florida, along with several other U.S. cities. You use an app to order groceries and they send a shopper out to get your groceries to you the same day. They offer free delivery on orders over $35 (but the prices will tend to be slightly higher than in-store prices). Amazon, several grocery stores and additional delivery services are popping up all the time. Our team can help you find all kinds of resources!
For more help for elderly drivers in Florida or family members with concerns, reach out to us anytime at 727-447-5845 or 813-333-5020!