Over 70 and still driving?
· There are over 4 million UK residents holding a driving licence who are aged over 70.
· The oldest person currently holding a DVLA licence is male and aged 106.
· The number of older drivers is expected to double if not treble in the next 20 years.
· Drivers over 85 are four times more likely to have caused a crash than to have been an innocent victim of one.
· Aged over 70 and drivers are:
o more likely to be at fault, particularly where right-of-way violations are involved.
o responsible for 9.4% of our fatal collisions and 6% of our serious injury collisions.
The Older Drivers Forum
The “Older Drivers Forum” aims to keep mature motorists on the road safely for longer but also gives practical advice about when to stop driving and the alternatives available. Visit the web site www.olderdriversforum.com for practical advice and videos for older drivers their friends and families.
The Forum is led by experts in road safety from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – including representatives from the emergency services, charities, local authorities and businesses specialising in keeping older people on the road.
Why is there a problem?
Drivers in their mid 70s need more time to process information to make decisions. This can cause particular problems:
- At junctions on high-speed roads
- Entering or joining a main road or roundabout on high-speed roads
- Merging with fast traffic from a slip road, particularly for the oldest drivers
- Failure to see or predict a hazard as quickly. Older drivers’ reaction times are increased by 22%, equivalent to 2 car lengths at 70mph.
Underlying health conditions and some types of medication can also be factors in accidents involving older drivers.
‘Driving Safely for Life’ and ‘Managing without a Car’ are two useful documents available as leaflets or online from the Drivers Forums Website www.olderdriversforum.com.
Voluntary Assessment Courses:
The forum encourages older drivers to attend voluntary assessments on their ability to drive.
· Hampshire County Council’s Driver Skills Scheme 60+. This is an awarding winning course for those who are not affected by a medical condition but need pointers and reassurance on their ability to drive. The cost is £30 for a 90 minute assessment on local roads and in the owners own car.
· Wessex DriveAbility offers an alternative course whereby the driver’s physical and cognitive ability to drive is checked. Vehicle safety and comfort is also assessed and advice on aids and adaptations that may assist driving is given. The cost is £79 for a 2 hour assessment with the aim of helping drivers to continue driving safely for as long as possible.
· The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) also run various courses.
You can find out more about all these courses and much more on the Older Drivers Forum website.