A married couple’s simple Florida road trip turned into chaos when they drove for 30 hours before stopping at a gas station. Angelo Virgona, 91, and Mary Virgona, 88, left Apopka for Orlando, drove back and forth on the turnpike and traveled west to LaBelle before ending up 150 miles away, tired, confused and hungry. Luckily, they did not crash or harm anyone else.
Silver Alert program helps find those who are lost
This man and woman are two of many elderly drivers in Florida who may need to think about ending their driving days. More than 17 percent of Florida’s population is over 65 years old, which is a higher percentage than any other state. Sometimes, the result is worse than 30 hours of wandering along roadways, and the Silver Alert program helps find elderly drivers who are missing. Since it was enacted in 2008, a statewide alert is issued for missing drivers who are at least 60 years old with dementia.
What are the specific laws for elderly drivers?
The District of Columbia and 33 states have special requirements for elderly drivers. Florida requires drivers over 80 years old to renew their license every six years, while drivers who are 79 years old or younger must only do so every eight years. They must also pass a vision test.
What should I do if I see an unsafe driver?
If you see someone get behind the wheel who you think is not medically or mentally fit to drive, you can fill out a form that notifies investigators. Your personal information is kept confidential. You don’t need to know the person’s actual medical diagnosis — you just need to witness any condition, such as seizures, dizziness, unsteadiness, limited movement in arms and legs, or confusion and memory problems, that makes you think the person and the public may be safer without the person driving.
If you were injured in an accident involving an elder driver, or if you have any questions about the specific laws pertaining to elder drivers in Florida, an experienced auto accident attorney can provide important advice.