Continued driver education is probably not something that many (or any) drivers think about. It is not mandatory for drivers to continue with driving education once they have their full license, but ICBC has implemented a 90 minute examination called Enhanced Road Assessments (the ‘ERA’). Class 5 and 7 drivers who are deemed to have a medical condition that may affect their driving ability, can be asked by Road Safety BC to complete the ERA in order to maintain their license. Commonly drivers are asked to complete the ERA if their doctor has reported a medical condition that may affect their driving, or if there is a collision report/police report that indicates that they do not know how to handle common driving situations.
Drivers may receive a letter from Road Safety BC stating that they are required to complete the ERA within a specified time period. If the driver does not comply with this requirement, their driver’s license will be cancelled.
If there are any safety concerns or violations during the assessment, then the driver will be issued a learner’s driver’s license while their file is reviewed by Road Safety BC. This means they will need supervision while driving.
However, the ERA is not based on age.
Seniors around the age of 80 are required to take medical examinations before turning 80 and every two years after that. This entails getting their doctor to fill out the driver’s medical examination form, and if the results are not good, then Road Safety BC requires them to complete the ERA.
It is worth considering if elder drivers should be required to participate in continued driver education to refresh their driving skills and keep up with changes.
Recently, I took part in a voluntary driving assessment. It helped improve my driving skills and increased my awareness of my driving environment.
After years of driving experience, some elder drivers can develop bad driving habits, such as becoming last minute signalers or tailgaters. Such behavior on the road can be risky. For instance, if an elder driver is giving their signal at the last moment before changing lanes, then that does not give the other drivers enough warning and can lead to an accident. Also, as we age we go through physical and mental changes, such as a slower reaction time, so if an elder driver is not leaving enough space between their car and the car in front that suddenly brakes, then they will have trouble stopping and can lead to an accident.
Our team at Simpson Thomas & Associates believes that continued driver education can help make driving a less stressful and dangerous experience for everyone.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, please call us at (604) 689-8888 to schedule a complimentary consultation.