On August 29, 2012, a 100-year-old man made headlines nationwide. Preston Carter, who turned 101 on September 5, had backed his car onto a sidewalk and into crowd of people. The group included children who had just been released from a Los Angeles school. They were waiting with parents to buy snacks from a sidewalk vendor.
Carter pulled out of his parking spot at a discount supermarket across from the school. Instead of turning into the street, he backed his powder blue Cadillac onto the sidewalk trapping several children under his car. Several bystanders banged on his windows and yelled at him to stop. He did, but not before 14 people were injured, including 11 children. Four were in critical condition.
Carter blamed the crash on brake failure, but brakes did not cause him to back in the wrong direction. The tragic accident brings up question, how old is too old to drive?
In Florida, drivers over 80 must pass a vision test to renew their license, but there are no other requirements. A health exam is required only if a family member or friend makes a request using Form #72190 and sends it to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. But if no request is made and the driver can pass an eye exam, he or she may drive indefinitely-even if the driver has caused several Florida car crashes.
Many seniors are safe drivers, but Boca Raton accident lawyer David Glatthorn suggests considering giving up driving if any of the following apply:
- You have a condition like cataracts or glaucoma that affects your vision.
- You have a medical condition like Alzheimer's that can impair memory or judgment.
- You have a medical condition that may physically affect your driving. For example, you have diabetes and are at risk of a coma.
- You take medication that impairs driving ability.
- You cannot see over the steering wheel or dashboard.
- You do not have the strength to handle your car.
- You have had numerous small accidents.