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Senior driving – your questions answered

We answer your senior driving questions, with a little help from Benny and Ben, our resident drivers!

Senior man in blue shirt with thumbs up leaning out of the drivers window.

How many US seniors still drive regularly?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, older drivers are keeping their licenses for longer and driving more miles than ever before. The Federal Highway Administration calculated that in 2015, there were approximately 25.3 million licensed drivers aged 70 and older, accounting for almost 12% of all drivers on the road, and in total 47.8million American drivers are over the age of 65.


When does my Arizona driving licence expire?

And Arizona driving licence expires when the licence holder is aged 65. To renew your licence, you must take a vision test and update your photo, and this must be done in person at a local MVD office. The MVD may also ask you to take a written knowledge test to renew your license. The fee for license renewal is $10, and your renewed licence lasts for five years.


Is my US state driving licence valid in Arizona?

If you come from out of state to live in at The Manor Village in Scottsdale, you'll need to acquire an Arizona driver’s license and register your vehicle as soon as you become a resident. Arizona considers you to be resident when you you live here for more than seven months of the year. If you hold a current out-of-state driving license, chances are you'll not need to take a written knowledge test or a practical driving tests, although there is no guarantee of this.


What is the Arizona vision screening test?

When you renew your license, you will be given a simple vision examination. If you wear glasses or contact lenses to drive, you must wear them at this examination. You must have uncorrected vision of at least 20/40 in one eye in order to get an unrestricted license. If you need to wear your glasses or contact lenses while driving, you'll be given a license with a B restriction. This simply means that you must always wear your glasses or contacts when driving!


How often must I take the Arizona MVD vision test?

Vision testing is required every five years, when you renew your license. Over time, vision may become impaired by a variety of conditions associated with advancing years, including cataracts, glaucoma, and maculata degeneration, all of which can impact on your vision quality.


Can my physical health affect my driving?

As we age, our driving is increasing affected by our physical and mental health. According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration:


“Impairments in three key areas — vision, cognition and motor function — are responsible for higher crash rates for older drivers. Vision declines with age; cognition, which includes memory and attention, can be impacted by medical problems such as dementia and medication side effects; and motor function suffers as flexibility declines due to diseases such as arthritis.”

So, if you are concerned about your health and the impact it might be having on your driving, first consult your physician for advice.


Can I drive with my medical condition?

Drivers are required to advise the MVD Medical Review Program (in writing or by telephone) of any new or deteriorating medical conditions that might affect their driving. This includes age-related issues such as memory impairment, reduced coordination, reduced flexibility, and limited vision. You may be sent a request for medical review if the MVD has received information regarding your ability to drive. This information may be provided by law-enforcement agencies, medical professions such as your own physician, insurance companies, or concerns neighbours and citizens. You must respond to this request within 45 days.


My family are worried about my driving…

As we age, we might not notice a decline in our driving ability, but family members might, and be concerned. The result is often an emotional discussion, with the senior driver seeing family concerns as trying to take away their independence, and family members concerned about the safety of their loved one. The NHTSA publishes some excellent guidelines to help you and your family have that discussion and to form a plan to retain your independence whilst reducing your risk.


Can I keep my car when I move to The Manor Village at Scottsdale?

Of course! We have designated parking spaces for residents who still drive and want to keep their own car. However, we do find that the majority decide that keeping their car is simply an expense they don't need anymore and they enjoy being chauffeured around by Benny and Ben far more! There are plenty of parking spaces available to visitors, so when family and friends come to visit Residents, there is always somewhere to park.


How can I improve my driving skills?

Driving has changed a lot since most of us first got our licence! Combine this with changes in regulations, not to mention modern technology in our cars, and it’s little wonder that most seniors are somewhat out of date in our driving knowledge! Several organisations run driver safety courses for drivers aged 50 and over, and these are a great way to refresh your skills. You can complete these in person or online, and some, such as the AARP Smart Driver™ online course , could earn you a discount on your auto insurance.

For more details on living at The Manor Village at Scottsdale, call us or click below to arrange your personalized visit.