New tests may make roads safer

Florida has the highest number of elderly drivers killed in automobile accidents in the nation. In an attempt to lower those numbers and keep all drivers safer, several driver?s license officials will begin implementing a rare test to gauge seniors? ability to process visual information.

If these tests work, they should be given to aging driver?s license applicants to ensure that they can see everything on the road.

The test being implemented is 10 minutes long and has three parts. It requires the person being evaluated to keep track of little cartoon icons of cars and trucks while being distracted with visual clutter. As it progresses, the test gets faster and measures how quickly the brain responds. According to one study, drivers who score poorly are more than twice as likely to be involved in a car accident in the next three years.

Though it may seem as though the elderly are being singled out, this test could prevent many people, both elderly and young, from being in a crash. However, if many senior citizens are restricted from driving, public transportation will have to improve so that elderly living on their own are not forced to become homebound.

Florida has a large number of senior citizens and the number of drivers older than 70 is expected to nearly double in the next two decades. Measures must be taken to ensure that they are still safe drivers and able to visually process all that is happening on the road. These tests target a problem that is quantifiable and able to be physically prevented through the revocation of a driver?s license should the driver be found to be unable to process visual information quickly enough to react expediently. The tests should be implemented and spread throughout Florida in order to keep drivers more safe.