Elderly people in Spain my have tougher restrictions for renewing drivers licences

The director of the DGT contemplates the review of the requirements that senior citizens will have to overcome in order to drive

The Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030, presented yesterday in the Congress of Deputies by the Director of the General Directorate of Traffic, Pere Navarro, contemplates reviewing and updating the requirements that senior citizens will have to overcome in order to drive.

In Spain, there is no age limit specifying when you are too old to drive. However, there is a physical and mental aptitude test that all drivers must undertake when they are over 65-years old to prove they are not a danger to other motorists and pedestrians

According to Antonio Lucas, RACE’s Director of road safety, very few elderly drivers cannot pass these tests … around 1% of those over 65 and 2% after 86 years. However, certain restrictions may be imposed if the CRC specialist doctor considers it appropriate. The most typical restrictions are to issue a driving license whose validity is limited to less than five years, not to exceed certain speed limits, or a restriction of the distance to which you can move away from your place of residence. Navarro, for his part, considers these measures too lax, because they allow a 90-year-old person to take the car without having their abilities examined in a long time.

Older, but not dangerous

It is clear that the passage of time has devastating effects on our faculties, but that is not necessarily a determining factor in our tendency to suffer accidents. According to what was expressed by the DGT itself, this group does not represent a greater danger for the rest of citizens than other drivers: “in 2019, those over 65 years of age represented 16% of the driver’s census, and were involved in 9 % of accidents on interurban roads and 7% on urban roads ”.

In general, older people are aware of their abilities and act accordingly; avoiding driving in low light or adverse weather conditions, they are also careful to venture too far on unfamiliar routes.

Is it time to quit?

The General Directorate of Traffic collects on its website some signs that all elderly drivers should take into account because they will serve as a warning that, perhaps, the time has come to a stop taking the car.

  • Whoever is in the passenger seat is stiff, scared, corrects driving errors, or clearly expresses fear.
  • The driver himself begins to notice a certain insecurity.
  • Other drivers complain and whistle at you.
  • Known trips take longer than usual.
  • Friends and family express doubts about your driving.

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