As Michigan grapples with enhancing road safety, could mandatory driving tests for senior citizens be part of a viable solution?

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I think I can safely say that we want everyone behind the wheel to be capable of handling it.

Yes, taking the test is nerve-wracking. But you figure you only have to do it once, right?

States with Mandatory Driving Tests for Senior Citizens

Wrong. At least for one state.

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There's only one state in America that requires a driving test for senior citizens once they hit a certain age, and it's not Michigan. It's Illinois.

Illinois has instituted laws and mandatory driving tests for senior citizens over the age of 75. Here's how it works;

When drivers 75 and older renew their licenses in Illinois, they must take a driving test. The renewal period is every 4 years for drivers between ages 75–80, every 2 years for drivers 81–86 years old, and every year for those 87 and older.

The reason Illinois adopted these changes is that as we get older, the "risk of being injured or killed in a traffic crash increases", according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Should Michigan Impose Driving Test Requirements for Senior Citizens?

Even though Michigan doesn't have the types of laws Illinois does for its senior citizens, there are some restrictions Michigan's Secretary of State can place on older drivers;

  • no freeway driving
  • an additional right-side mirror on a vehicle
  • no nighttime driving
  • time of day restrictions—for example, no driving during rush hour traffic
  • supports to ensure a proper driving position
  • geographic area restrictions, and
  • wearing bioptic telescopic lenses when driving

Even with this in place, should Michigan consider putting a driving test requirement in place for senior citizens? If it meant safer roads for all, would you be for it?

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