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Nebraska Office of Highway Safety (NOHS)
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OLDER DRIVERS

In Nebraska, 65 is a speed limit, not an age limit.

  • About the GrandDriverProgram
  • Nebraska Older Driver Statistics & Crash Data
  • Driver Evaluation and Rehabilitation Programs
  • Medical Conditions & Medications Can Affect Safe Driving
  • Physical Changes in Older Drivers That May Affect Driving
  • Reporting Medically Impaired or Unsafe Drivers in Nebraska
  • Car Insurance Tips: Senior Driver Safety
  • Links to Related Websites
  • ABOUT THE GrandDriverPROGRAM

    While most older drivers are good drivers, the physical changes associated with aging can ultimately affect their ability to drive safe. To make everyone aware of this, the organizations shown at the bottom of this section are proud to present “GrandDriver,” a program that provides information about aging and its effects on driving.

    The "GrandDriver" program urges the public – particularly drivers over 65 and their adult children – to learn more about the effects of aging on their ability to drive and to talk about all of the issues involved in this complex subject. Click on each of the topics shown below for more information:

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    NEBRASKA OLDER DRIVER STATISTICS & CRASH DATA

    Did you know…

  • In 2013, the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reports there were
        166,558 Nebraskans age 70 and older licensed to drive in Nebraska.
  • A total of 9,990 of those licensed drivers were age 90 and older.
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  • NE Fatal Crashes Involving Drivers Ages 80 & Older - 2002-2012
  • NE Licensed Drivers - Ages 65 to 74 and Ages 75 and Older - 2003-2013
  • NE Licensed Drivers - Ages 80 & Older - 2003-2013
  • NE Motor Vehicle Licensed Drivers Ages 65 and Older - 2003-2013
  • NE Older Population by Driver Ages 65 to 74, Involved in Fatal / Injury Crashes - 2000-2012
  • NE Older Population by Driver Ages 75 and Older Involved in Fatal / Injury Crashes -  2000–2012
  • NE Older Population by Driver Ages 80 and Older Involved in Fatal / Injury Crashes - 2002-2011
  • How Safe is Your Driving? Safe Driving Quiz & Tips (Read Only)
  • How Safe is Your Driving? Safe Driving Quiz & Tips (Print Only)
  • While being “OLDER” does not equal being “DANGEROUS,” it may equal being “AT-RISK.”

    Advanced age should not automatically suggest an individual is a dangerous driver regardless of the newspaper headlines over the past several years. The fact is most older drivers are quite capable of safely operating a motor vehicle.

    Drivers age 65 and older actually have the lowest per capita crash rate, while 16-year-old drivers have the highest rate. However, the number of crashes that occur per mile driven does increase with age after 65 as does the fatality rate per capita and per mile. Drivers age 85 and older have the highest fatality rates per capita among all drivers. In fact, the fatality rate per mile for age 85-plus drivers is comparable to or greater than that of teenagers over 16 years of age. Yet, the data shows older people are not riskier drivers but are more at risk of injury in crashes because they are less resilient than younger drivers.

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    PHYSICAL CHANGES IN OLDER DRIVERS THAT MAY AFFECT DRIVING

    A variety of age-related changes may make driving more difficult for older persons, including:

  • Impaired vision especially diminished visual acuity, narrowed field of vision, difficulty
        in low-light conditions (dusk, fog, etc.), and difficulty following moving objects.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Limited joint mobility including arthritis and pain in the back, neck, or hips.
  • Loss of strength in the arms and legs.
  • Various neurological issues including prolonged reaction times or more
        serious dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease.
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    DRIVERS EVALUATION AND REHABILITATION PROGRAMS

    There are a number of organizations that can conduct driver evaluations or “competency tests” for an older driver. These organizations can assess a driver’s physical and mental abilities to drive safely. They may also be able to recommend simple changes in driving habits that will make driving safer and also recommend simple devices (such as a wide-angle rearview mirror) that can help drivers continue to drive safely. Unfortunately, these programs are not available to drivers free of charge. Most programs  charge a fee ($100 or higher) for this service. Examples of providers are:

    Alegent Health-Immanuel Rehabilitation Center Driver Education Program, Omaha, Nebraska
    402-572-3055

    Center for Independent Living of Central Nebraska, Grand Island, NE
    308-382-9255

    Columbus Community Hospital Rehabilitative Services Driving Program, Columbus, Nebraska
    402-562-3333

    Methodist Hospital Driver Rehabilitation Program, Omaha, Nebraska
    402-354-4670

    Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital Driver Retraining Program, Lincoln, Nebraska
    402-483-9497

    Rehab Center – Regional West, Scottsbluff, Nebraska
    308-630-1355

    Within Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a list of State approved Driver Training Schools. These schools provide driver training and evaluation for a fee.

    Click here to view the list of  Driver Training Schools in Nebraska.

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    REPORTING MEDICALLY IMPAIRED OR UNSAFE DRIVERS IN NEBRASKA

    Driving is more than just a means of transportation in America. To many older persons, the car is a symbol of independence, a social and economic status symbol, and a part of their adult life and personality. The loss of driving privileges is not only associated with limited mobility but also decreased socialization and independence. It is not surprising, that convincing an older driver to hand over their car keys, turn in their license, and give up driving is very emotional and difficult.

    The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can help families and friends convince an older driver to turn in their license. The DMV is responsible for the review of individuals who may have a physical or mental condition that interferes with their ability to drive safely. In reviewing a driver’s abilities, DMV’s goal is to allow the individual to drive for as long as they can exercise reasonable and ordinary control over their vehicle.

    The DMV has an established procedure that allows individuals to (confidentially) report drivers they believe to be unsafe or have a medical condition that jeopardizes their safety and others on the roadway. A thoroughly completed Citizen Reexamination Report must be sent to the Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles identifying this driver and describing the problems this driver may be having along with any other relevant information. Email requests cannot be accepted.

    The DMV will review the submitted and the driver's record of the individual in question. The DMV may contact you for further information. If the DMV finds sufficient cause, the driver will be sent a certified letter requesting they appear at an identified drivers license examination site. They will also be instructed to bring a completed valid vision and medical statement (conducted within the past 90 days). They also will be requested to be prepared to take the written and drive portion of the driver’s test.

    If the individual fails to submit an acceptable medical or vision report or fails any portion of the driver’s test, their license will be cancelled at that time.

    If the driver desires to challenge the vision or medical cancellation, they may appeal that decision through the DMV’s Medical Advisory Board. If they are cancelled because of a failure to successfully pass the written or drive test, they may attempt to retake the tests at any time.

    Click Link for a copy of the Citizen Reexamination Report

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    LINKS TO RELATED WEBSITES

  • AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: Senior Driver
  • AARP Driver Safety Program
  • Administration on Aging
  • ASA – American Society on Aging
  • Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital
  • National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a)
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Nebraska Medical Association
  • Nebraska State Patrol
  • The American Occupational Therapy Association Inc.

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