CHICAGO – In a move that directly impacts Illinois’ senior population, Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias is championing a shift in the age requirement for mandatory driving tests from 75 to 79.
“Statistics show that seniors are among the safest drivers of any age category. This change would make Illinois driving standards for senior drivers more consistent compared to other states while keeping Illinois as one of the strictest states for license renewals,” Giannoulias stated, referencing 2022 data from the Illinois Department of Transportation. This data highlighted a commendable crash rate of 24.39 per 1,000 drivers for those 75 and older, a rate lower than many younger age groups.
This proposed change resonates especially with the approximately 280,000 seniors, which makes up 3% of Illinois’ 9.1 million licensed drivers, falling in the 75 to 78 age bracket.
AARP Illinois’ Ryan Gruenenfelder voiced support, “Age alone is not determinative of driving performance, this is a step in the right direction.”