Below is the state of Florida media release.  Manatee County is recognized as one of the top 20 priority Counties targeted due to the number of residents that are over the age of 65.

Target CountiesFlorida Focuses on Keeping Seniors Safe and Mobile

Manatee Crash Stats

Manatee Crash Stats

As retirees trade in their snow boots for sandals and head to the Sunshine State, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles offers these tips to promote safe travels for seniors living and visiting Florida:

  • Plan your day so that you do most of your driving when visibility is greatest and traffic is lightest, such as mid-morning and after lunch.
  • Plan your route to minimize left turns.
  • Look twice before making a turn or entering an intersection.
  • Minimize lane changes. When you change lanes, be sure to use your signals.
  • Turn the volume on your radio down or turn off the radio completely.
  • Have your vision and hearing tested annually.
  • Take your vehicle to a CarFit event to have technicians adjust it to get the right fit for you. (The Safety is Golden Mobility Fair in Tamarac Dec. 5 will offer CarFit and other resources. Click here for event details.)
  • Heed warning labels on medications. Even prescriptions drugs can impair driving and judgment.
  • Consider alternative transportation options.

In Florida, drivers must renew their driver license every eight years and take a vision test every time they renew their driver license in an office, which is at least every 16 years. When drivers reach age 80, they must pass a vision test every time they renew.  They may take the test in a driver license office or have a licensed physician give the Mature Driver Vision Test.  If the driver passes the vision test, the license is renewed for six years.

Sometimes, family members, friends or others notice that a driver’s fitness to drive safely has become questionable. Addressing driving plans before a crisis occurs is a good idea. When a heart-to-heart doesn’t address the issue, DHSMV has a process for reporting medically at-risk drivers who may be unsafe to drive.  In Florida, anyone can report a driver who may be unsafe to drive because of a medical condition.  The Department keeps the report strictly confidential. The Medical Reporting Form is available online. DHSMV reviews every report to determine the best course of action to take. The goal is not to revoke the driver’s license, but rather to ensure a medical condition is not interfering with safe driving.

Drivers who decide to surrender their license may obtain a Florida identification card. Whether getting a driver license or an ID card, Floridians of all ages should visit before going to an office. Those who served honorably in our nation’s military may choose to add a veteran designation to their license. Veterans should be sure to bring a DD-214 that proves their service and pay a one-time, $1 fee, in addition to the renewal fee. If a veteran’s license is not eligible for a renewal, he/she can pay $2 to get a replacement with the veteran designation on it.

Most seniors are good drivers, and there are a number of resources available to help them stay mobile and independent. The Safe Mobility for Life Coalition’s website,, is full of information and resources for aging drivers and their families. DHSMV is an active member of the coalition. You can learn more about DHSMV at and on Facebook.



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