Medical conditions related to age or other factors can impact someone’s ability to operate a motor vehicle in Peachtree City or elsewhere in Georgia. It’s important to understand the laws surrounding this issue and when medical conditions might restrict driving.
Medical Restrictions on Driving: Visual Impairment, Cognitive Deficiencies
If someone doesn’t meet Georgia’s Department of Driver Services (DDS) vision standard, he or she cannot drive. That standard is 20/60 in one eye and a horizontal visual field of at least 140 degrees.
Even more importantly, any condition that causes impairment of cognitive skills could restrict someone from driving; especially when it involves coordination, flexibility or memory. This can span conditions from epilepsy to minor brain trauma.
Medical Restrictions on Driving: Respiratory Problems and More
Certain respiratory conditions could impact an individual’s ability to drive. For instance, those who require oxygen may be unable to safely operate a motor vehicle.
There may be other health issues (mental or physical) that could restrict driving, depending on severity and symptoms of the condition. Diabetes and cardiovascular conditions, for example, may be associated with other conditions that might make driving difficult or hazardous for the patient and others on the road.
The restrictions will depend on the medical condition. This could include corrective lenses or mechanical devices. Some individuals should not drive after dark, during rush hour, or on the freeway. Elderly drivers should discuss driving with their physician, and whether they have any medical conditions that may impair their driving ability.
Georgia’s laws may also affect whether a senior driver can continue to operate a motor vehicle. It requires all elderly drivers undergo a vision test, and may require a written test, medical exam, or a new driving test under certain circumstances.
License Renewal Process for Senior Drivers: Vision Test
In Georgia, if a driver’s license expires and the individual is at least 64 years old, the driver must renew the license by visiting the nearest DDS office. That’s because all drivers aged 64 and older are required to take a basic vision test. It’s important that if the individual wears eyeglasses, these are brought along to the appointment.
It’s recommended that if the individual’s eyesight has deteriorated or it’s been more than two years since his/her vision has been checked, this is done before going to the DDS. Anyone who doesn’t meet the vision standard will be unable to renew his or her license. Individuals who fail the vision test will be referred to a licensed vision specialist.
At this appointment a determination will be made as to whether or not it’s safe for the individual to drive. Sometimes the vision can be corrected, such as through eyeglasses. The specialist will complete a Vision Report Form, which must be brought back to the DDS.
License Renewal Process for Senior Citizens: Written Test, Medical Exam
Sometimes the individual will be required to take a written test in addition to the vision test. If this happens, an opportunity will be given to go over the Georgia Driver’s Handbook and take some practice tests.
Under certain circumstances an individual could be required to undergo a medical examination. This would be necessary to prove the person is fit and healthy for driving if he or she was previously assessed as having a physical or mental disability.
Examinations must be performed by a licensed physician in Georgia within the past year. The physician is required to complete the State of Georgia DDS Medical Evaluation form.
License Renewal Process for Senior Citizens: Driving Skills Test
Another requirement that may have to be met in order to renew a driver’s license is to undergo a new driving skills test. This may be the case if a driver suffers from a physical or mental condition, or has a poor driving record. The individual will be interviewed by a DDS authorized officer and may also require a vision test or written test in addition to a driving test.
Jason R. Schultz helps drivers who were in car accidents in Peachtree City. We hope you never have to, but if you’re ever in a car accident check out our free eBook, The Truth about Your Injury Case.