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Publication Information

21 Notre Dame J.L. Ethics & Pub. Pol'y 405 (2007)


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to describe and classify each state's driver's licensing laws and then test whether the licensing laws affect the percentages of over-64 persons licensed and the proportion of older drivers involved in accidents to determine an optimal level of driving.

Design and Methods: This paper evaluates state driving rules, obtained from laws, regulations, and driver's manuals, tests, based upon Department of Transportation data, whether the type of laws affects driving and accident rates for those over 64 and suggests a uniform scheme combining self-reporting of driving problems, on-the-road tests of drivers who fall below safe driving standards, and individualized restrictions where these can enable drivers to safely operate vehicles.

Results: Rates of licensure for those over 64 years and of the proportion who are involved in traffic accidents vary widely among states. State licensing rules are divided among seven categories. Regression analysis shows a relationship between the licensing category and both rates.

Implications: A model (and thus uniform) driving statute is recommended, with final licensing responsibility resting with the Department of Motor Vehicles or equivalent agency and licensing based on an evaluation of actual driving performance.

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Elder Law Commons



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