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Seniors face unique age-related personal injury risks

British Columbia drivers who are 80 years or older must undergo tests to assess their ability to continue driving safely. The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia mandates the requirements for these tests. The goal is to ensure senior drivers remain independent but also safe behind the wheel for as long as possible, without suffering personal injury or causing accidents in which others are injured.

Although drivers of all ages face challenges, seniors have to adapt to driving in an ever-faster urban landscape with new symbols and traffic signs. In addition, aging drivers develop health issues that could affect their driving abilities. For example, their mobility could become impaired, like difficulty turning their necks more than 90 degrees.

The provincial Crown corporation, ICBC, collaborated with RoadSafetyBC in developing the framework of the Class 5 license driving assessments. Senior drivers must comply with the following:

  • Provide a driver’s medical examination report or a doctor’s certification that the person is medically competent to continue driving
  • Medical reports must be obtained every two years
  • Must undergo enhanced road assessments or more extended on-road driving tests while driving their own vehicles
  • Must have proof of passing the test issued by RoadSafetyBC, and not a licensing office

Taking the mandated test might make it easier for family members who are concerned about the safety of elderly parents but find it challenging to discuss the matter. Cognitive and physical deterioration can lead to accidents with devastating consequences. If British Columbia residents suffer personal injury in car accidents while travelling south of the border, recovering damages could be challenging. Working with an experienced cross-border personal injury lawyer can help.