Driving is a combination of experience, attitude, physical health and brain function. We of course want to help people to stay on the roads for as long as they are safe to do so.
Auto trader have revealed the results of a recent poll that showed that 73% were concerned when driving behind an older driver. As well as 3 out 5 Brits believing that older motorists should retake their driving test at the age of 66. One in five also wanted the government to put stricter regulations in order for older drivers.
Surveying 3,763 motorists, 60% of consumers believe the government should put something in place for older drivers when they reach a certain age. In addition, 17-24 year olds believe that people should take their driving test again at a younger age of 63. With the population of older drivers rocketing, a surprising 72% of people over 70 still have valid driving licences which a big increase over the last twenty years. People fear that the government is failing to prepare for anticipated demographic time bomb that is about to happen on our roads.
Over 60% of Brits also believe that older drivers should be submitted to medical checks, eye tests and co-ordination tests when reaching their 60s. 30% of readers also think that the government should lower the number of points allowed on a license before it can be revoked on an older person’s driver’s license. A quarter of the readers also said that they feel unsafe getting into a car with someone over the age of 65 and the overwhelming majority of these readers noticed a lower level of awareness and slow reaction speed in the older drivers.
Nathan Coe, a Group Director at Auto Trader commented ‘Any correlation between growing old and driving safely is not straightforward, making it difficult for Government to enforce a one rule fits all policy. Driving is a combination of experience, attitude, physical health and brain function. We of course want to help people to stay on the roads for as long as they are safe to do so and to help them find the car that may be best suited to their needs.’
Many older drivers believe that their reputation as a whole has been tarnished by a few high profile cases regarding older drivers. This has affected consumer perceptions and enhanced the risk that comes with older drivers being on the road. The reality of the situation is that older drivers, specifically the over 70’s only make up 6% of the driver casualties whilst drivers under the age of 30 make up 20% of drivers and 35% of the casualties.
To back this up, Peter Rodger, who is a Chief Examiner at the Institute of Advanced Motorist comments on this and he says that ‘It is important to recognise that older drivers are under-represented in statistics, meaning they are involved in fewer crashes that result in injury than the average. There are plenty of options for older drivers who may be worried about whether they are safe on the road including an objective assessment of their driving skills and driving refresher courses.’
If any driver has the combination of qualities that are needed to be a great driver, experience, attitude, physical health and brain function then they should be able to drive. Many people have opinions on older drivers and if they should be on the road, but if they only cause 6% of the casualties on the road then I think we should all take a long hard look at the other drivers on the road. Instead of assuming that the older you are, the more of a risk you become.