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Road age: Oldies rule on UK roads

2012-02-14 08:01

UK'S OLDEST DRIVER: Sheila Thomson is officially the oldest driver in Britain at 106. We say 'Go for it, ma'am!'

LONDON, England - There are now more than a million octogenarians and at least 122 licensed drivers older than 100 on British roads.

And the oldest is a woman.

UK figures show there are 1 012 399 licensed drivers older than 80 and 122 centenarians on the roads, including  three 105-year-olds and one 106-year-old woman.


The age gap between the youngest and oldest licensed driver is 90 years but accident statistics show that neither age group is more of a hazard on the highways. The number of deaths and serious injuries in crashes among drivers older than 80 is only one-third that of those aged 17-19.

In 2010 one driver aged 17-19 was killed or seriously injured per thousand licence holders. The rates among car drivers aged 20-24 is 36.4% greater than those aged 80 or more

However, an elderly driver is more likely to sustain serious injuries in a car crash due to their frailty.

British Institute of Advanced Drivers' chief executive Simon Best said:  “Older people need their cars for mobility and access to more activities and services. Those who wish to continue driving beyond the age of 70 should only be prevented from doing so if there are compelling reasons.

"Rather than seeking to prevent older people driving we should make them more aware of the risks they face and offer them driving assessments to eliminate bad habits. Driving helps older people play a full and active part in society.”

The number of older drivers will continue to rise. The UK's Office of National Statistics predicts that the country will have 8.7-million people older than 75 by 2033, an increase of 81%t of over-75's since 2008.S

Here are the age statistics:
Ages / Women / Men / Total

60+ 4 469 829 / 5 867 347 / 10 337 176
70+ 1 458 438 / 2 310 261 / 3 768 699
80+ 350 852 / 661 547 / 1 012 399
90+ 19 517 / 46 379 / 65 896
100+ 35 / 87 / 122

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