The impact of a vision screening law on older driver fatality rates

In a study executed by researchers at the University of Alabama, it was determined that by requiring a vision screening test for drivers 80 years of age and older it reduced fatal motor vehicle accidents involving the elderly. In Florida, in 2004, a law was put into place requiring that drivers 80 years of age and older had to pass a simple vision test for their drivers license to remain valid.

Researchers used data from the U.S. Census Bureau as well as the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to see how effective the law was. They used data from before the law was passed to compare the results from after the passing of the law and found that from 2004 to 2006 motor vehicle accident fatalities involving drivers 80 years of age and older decreased by 17 percent. Although they determined that it is unclear the reason for this correlation, they have ascertained that the law has reduced motor vehicle accident caused deaths for drivers 80 years of age and older. These findings have been published in Archives of Ophthalmology, Vol. 126 No. 11, November 2008.