Florida License Revocations On the Rise: Are Our Roads Safer?

by Carmen Dellutri on November 11, 2011

Naples personal injury lawyerThe number of Floridians who have had their drivers licenses revoked because they are deemed physically or mentally unfit has more than doubled in the last decade, according to new data from the state. As Florida personal injury attorneys, we think these efforts are certainly making our roads safer for all drivers.

Last year, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles revoked 7,716 licenses for medical reasons, up from 3,559 in 2000. Some of the most common reasons cited for revoking driving privileges include problems related to dementia, stroke, seizures, and other health conditions.

In addition, many cases stemmed from family members, the public, or professionals reporting motorists to the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles after the drivers had been in accidents, became repeatedly confused or lost, or were consistently driving erratically.

While motorists of any age can have medical issues, the rise in revocations may in part result from Florida's growing number of older drivers, said Fran Carlin-Rogers, a senior transportation consultant from Orlando.

As detailed by the Sun Sentinel, Florida statistics show:

  • Another 6,559 licenses were revoked by medical review last year for either failing the state's vision test or not submitting a vision report. Since 2004, Florida has required drivers age 80 and older to have their eyes tested every six years.
  • More drivers are being flagged, with state statistics showing 9,105 reported for medical reasons last year.
  • State officials conducted 17,408 new and follow-up medical reviews last year, and 3,101 requests for retests due to medical reasons.
  • Nearly one in five residents is over 65 years old now, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But by 2030, one out of every four Floridians behind the wheel will be a senior citizen – many who will be living in South Florida retirement communities.
  • About 7 percent of the reports were dismissed by authorities who determined they had no merit. The state's Medical Advisory Board makes a final decision in such cases, which can include requesting a retest or denying a motorist's license, Howard said.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse remain the most common reasons state officials revoke Floridians' licenses. There have been about 460,800 driving under the influence and 151,260 controlled substance sanctions filed against drivers and leading to revocations so far this year.

For those concerned about a loved one who should no longer be driving, Florida law allows anyone to notify the state about motorists with physical or mental conditions that might impact their driving. The reports are confidential but must be in writing, and include the reporter's name and signature. For more information about older drivers, please see our previous blog post available here.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Florida car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys for a free consultation. 

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