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When is a Person Too Old To Drive In Oregon 

For most, learning to drive is a rite of passage in Oregon, representing an important milestone in their teen years. With the ability to drive comes a significant amount of freedom and self-reliance. Becoming a new driver feels almost as if there is no limitation on where we can go and what we can do. Alternatively, restricting a person’s ability to drive can be emotionally devastating.

However, driving an automobile carries great responsibility. Poor driving leads to an untold number of auto accidents and injuries. Therefore, the government passes many laws related to operating motor vehicles designed to keep everyone on the roadway as safe as possible. While most of these laws have nothing to do with age, there are times when it becomes a factor.

And that brings us to the topic of this post – when is a person too old to drive in Oregon?

Is there a Mandatory Age to Stop Driving?

People often ask this question because they have heard of professions that have a mandatory retirement age. For example, airline pilots, air traffic controllers, and foreign service officers have compulsory retirement ages. In some states, judges, firefighters, and several other professionals must retire at certain ages.

Many have also heard about senior drivers who have had their driver’s licenses revoked and wonder if happens automatically at a certain age. While it is true that a license can be taken when appropriate, the answer in Oregon is that there is no mandatory age at which a driver must surrender their driver’s license. After all, one must be a certain age to obtain a license, and younger drivers are sometimes believed to cause more accidents. Below, we will discuss some specific issues and laws related to older drivers.

Driving Laws and Issues Related to Older Drivers

Before addressing potential driving issues associated with aging, let us be clear that age and its effects on people are highly individual. People are living and working longer than ever before. As the number of older Americans has grown, society’s perception has changed in many ways, recognizing this older demographic’s continuing contributions to the workforce, politics, and society. Thus, Oregon law balances safety and the critical right to drive.

Turning to potential issues, some of the following may result in a decreased ability to drive safely:

  • Medications – older Americans often take more medications. Sometimes, the side effects of these medicines can affect driving ability.
  • Cognitive changes – if a person has started to experience cognitive decline, it can cause confusion, slow reaction times, and affect judgment.
  • Physical problems – certainly, limitations to a person’s body can affect driving. Examples would be hearing loss, vision loss, and insufficient strength.

Insurance may also change for older drivers, and many premiums will increase as drivers age. This may lead to some seniors driving without insurance. 

Applicable Laws in Oregon

Oregon seeks to address these issues in several ways, such as the following:

  • Upon reaching 65, Oregon drivers cannot renew their licenses online. They must visit an office to have their vision tested in person. (However, even if they fail the vision test, the driver has recourse by obtaining a certificate of vision from an eye doctor).
  • Under the At-Risk Driver Program, Oregon medical professionals must report specific impairments.
  • Anyone can report someone they believe to be an unsafe driver.
  • The Oregon Department of Transportation may determine a driver to be ineligible for a license or may impose restrictions on a license.

You may need to have a difficult conversation if you have a driver in the family that you believe is unsafe. AARP provides a helpful list of warning signs of dangerous driving. These rules may be different when regarding commercial driver’s liscences. 

Call with Questions

Unfortunately, sometimes people continue to drive when they should not and cause accidents. If you have been injured by an unsafe driver, you may have questions about your legal right to recover damages for your injuries. If you have questions about your rights, we will happily answer them in a free consultation. We believe the only way to keep society safe is to hold accountable those who act negligently.