The number of drivers over the age of 70 will double over the next 20 years and there are now more than one million licence holders over the age of 80.
Road safety charity IAM Roadsmart, formerly known as the Institute of Advanced Motorists, has called for practical actions to help older people stay behind the wheel for as long as possible as a vital step towards keeping them active, healthy and independent.
A 2016 report by Swansea University, taken alongside DVLA statistics, highlighted that drivers over 70 are four times less likely to be involved in a road traffic incident than those aged between 17 and 24.
Reasons for this include older drivers being more cautious and unlikely to take risks, staying off roads when the weather is bad and not breaking the speed limit.
IAM Roadsmart would like to see the driving licence renewal age raised to 75, accompanied by an eye test, and believes that GPs should be able to prescribe a driving assessment where appropriate. In time, these could become compulsory for drivers aged over 85.
Here’s how you can find out if you’re as safe a driver as you think you are:
- The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) has created a website aimed specifically at senior motorists. olderdrivers.org.uk
- ROSPA also offers advanced driving courses for motorists of all ages and levels of experience. ROSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders have more than 60 local groups that will provide free training to help you improve your driving skills and prepare you to take their advanced test. roadar.co.uk
- IAM Roadsmart provides Mature Driver Reviews for any older driver who wants to boost their skills, safety and confidence. You could also full Advanced Driver Course. iamroadsmart.co.uk
- Age UK can offer advice to those aged over 70. ageuk.org.uk
- Some medical conditions can impact on your driving and whether you are allowed to keep your licence.