Elderly drivers warned to 'reflect & accept' own driving amid mandatory tests for over 70s

Recent figures suggested that car driver deaths in the 70 to 79 age group are expected to rise by 40 percent over the next 20 years. The Supporting Safe Driving into Old Age report also found that for drivers over 80, the rate of being killed or seriously injured, per licence held, is as high as for those aged between 21 and 29.

“At the same time, self-reflection needs to start with an acceptance that we’re all more vulnerable on the road than we think we are.

“It includes a willingness to recognise the situations that may lead to increased risk, and to ask where, when and why they occur.

“Learning from those situations, perhaps with some expert help, is a good way for a senior driver to stay as safe as possible for as long as possible.”

They also said they were keen to remind older motorists of the need to reflect on their own driving.

This would be done to understand where they may be experiencing difficulty, and to know where to get practical advice.

The Older Drivers Task Force report also recommended that the Government make changes regarding vehicles.

It included adopting European Union standards of vehicle safety technology.

Further research into advanced occupant restraint systems such as split buckle or crisscross seat belts in recognition of the frailty of older drivers and passengers, they advised.

John Plowman, chair of the Task Force, says in the report foreword: “I am grateful for the contributions of all members in following up the review and to the Road Safety Foundation for their support throughout our work.

“We are ready to help in whatever way we can to support the action now needed to make driving safer for older drivers, a vulnerable and growing sector of our community.”

Currently, once drivers reach the age of 70, they need to apply for a new driving licence.

Following this, if they wish to continue driving, they will need to renew it every three years.

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