Half of Americans say elderly drivers should take a road test annually

July 23, 2018

Fully 52% of U.S. adults are calling for annual testing of elderly drivers, based on findings of a poll fielded by Rasmussen Reports and released on June 18. Support is building for road testing of aging drivers following a May 24 accident in New Jersey in which a fifth grader and a teacher were killed after a 77-year-old school bus driver missed an exit on a road—and collided with a dump truck while attempting a U-turn.

The survey of 1,000 Americans nationwide determined that 38% think that testing should begin at age 70; while 27% believe it should begin at age 75; and 23% would wait until 80. Seven percent (7%) think the testing should start at age 85 or older.

Two-thirds of Americans say they drive a car every day or nearly every day. Sixteen percent (16%) said in 2017 that they were driving more now than they were a year earlier, while 22% were driving less.

The older the adult, the less likely they are to favor annual retests for a driver’s license after a certain age. But even among those who do support it, the older the adult, the longer they think the tests should wait.

Men and women are equally as likely to support re-testing of older drivers,—but more women (41%) than men (34%) think those tests should start at age 70. Men are more closely divided over whether they should start at 70, 75, or 80.

White adults are stronger supporters of annual retests for elderly drivers than blacks and other minorities are. But among those who do support retests, black and minority adults are more likely than whites to think those tests should start at age 70.

Adults with children at home are much stronger advocates of testing than those without children and are more likely to say those tests should start at age 70.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Americans say they have been involved in a car accident while driving.

Research contact: @Rasmussen_Poll

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