Posted: Mar 28, 2013 6:18 PM by Morgan Frances - MFrances@kristv.com
Updated: Mar 29, 2013 10:34 AM
CORPUS CHRISTi - The arrest of Pat Suter, suspect in a hit and run a couple of weeks ago, has raised a lot of questions about elderly people getting behind the wheel. About half of the people hanging out at the Senior Center on Greenwood today said they don't drive.
"It was a hard decision," said 80-year-old Ray Valdez, "because I almost had a crash and I didn't want to say, 'I'm not going to drive no more.'"
The other half of seniors said they still drive. "When our mind is on driving, we'll drive good," said 62-year-old Harvey Stonum.
So what age is it appropriate to stop driving? The Texas Department of Transporation requires that, from 79 to 84 years old, drivers have to renew their license in person and have their vision checked. From 85 on, drivers have to do the same but do it every other year.
In the six years from 79 to 84 years old, however, a driver only has to have his or her vision checked once.
"The American Optometry Association recommends annual exams for everybody," said Dr. Heriberto Ramos at Complete Family Eye Care. This raises some concerns that starting the vision test requirement at 79-years-old is too late.
"Our eyes need to be checked every year and if we get them checked every year then we wouldn't have to lap over into the years, you know, 80 and 90 before they discover we can't see," Stonum said.
Because of what Dr. Ramos has seen at his clinic, he agrees with Stonum. "Average age for cataract surgery is, from what I've seen in my clinical practice, is in the 70s or so," Dr. Ramos said. "So if we're waiting until 79 that's too late."
Aside from age, Dr. Ramos also said, in extreme cases, vision can change from perfect 20/20 to blind in just six months. He says other doctors agree; the vision requirements in Texas are too relaxed. For now, though, all doctors can do is make suggestions and hope their clients listen.
Do you have a tip, information about a breaking news story, or a story idea for 6 Investigates? Contact the KRIS 6 News Desk at 361-884-6666 or send us an email.
Send us your feedback. We want to hear from you!
Look at photos and videos and share them!
|KRISTV.COM Mobile Website
Get KRISTV.com on your mobile or PDA!
|KRISTV.COM Mobile Apps
Get our mobile apps on your mobile or PDA!
See the latest winning numbers!
|6 News Team
Read about your favorite KRIS-TV personalities!
|FCC Online Public File
FCC Public File of Records, Reports, and more