A recent story in the Sun Sentinel addresses the sometimes difficult topic of when and how to let senior drivers know that it may be time to hang up the car keys for good. Twenty percent of Florida’s population is over 65, and there are more than 750,000 people over 80 years old driving here.
The situation is especially acute in Central Florida, where the booming tourist trade and growing population drive more and more traffic through perpetual road construction. The resulting car crashes keep Orlando car accident attorneys busy trying to recover damages for injury victims.
It’s an ongoing dilemma and a situation with no clear resolution. In the meantime, experts are working to make both roads and cars safer for an increasingly aging cohort of motorists. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has been designing roadways with senior drivers in mind for decades.
Safe Design for Senior Drivers
As anyone over 40 knows, diminished eyesight is one of the first signs of fading youth. With that in mind, the DHSMV makes signs and road markers that are easier to see. You may not notice, but pavement stripes on Florida highways are six inches wide, two inches wider than the standard. There are twice as many of those little reflectors in the middle of I-4 as there on other interstate highways. Florida spaces markers at 40-foot intervals instead of the federal standard of 80 feet. Streets signs are also larger in Florida, and the advance notices for them come sooner. You’ll see a sign that your street is coming up 1,000 feet before you get to it. It gives you more time to decide and to get in the proper lane.
In addition to the physical improvements, the DHSMV operates the Florida GrandDriver program. (For Grandmas and Grandpas.)