A University of Alabama at Birmingham research study into a Florida law found that a simple vision test may help reduce fatalities related to car accidents among older drivers. Researchers found that highway traffic fatalities among older Florida drivers decreased 17% after Florida passed legislation demanding that drivers 80 years and over get a vision test. In states such as Alabama and Georgia, where no such law was passed, death rates among elderly drivers remained the same.
As a result of the research, other states may soon also pass special screening requirements for elderly drivers, although other states may include other screening options in addition Currently, nine states as well as the District of Columbia require elderly drivers to pass regular vision tests. In addition, two states as well as the District of Columbia require older drivers to take a road test.
The study has raised some questions regarding accidents among the elderly. Some experts have suggested that elderly drivers in fact pose a smaller risk than other groups of drivers. Some experts suggested that elderly drivers tend to avoid risks, tend to be in accidents with low speeds, and tend to be hit rather than be the perpetrators driving into another vehicle.