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Time for action on older drivers?

2014-03-27 10:21

GIVING UP YOUR INDEPENDENCE: If you have concerns about an elderly relative’s driving, remember that driving is associated with independence, so asking them to give up their car keys can be incredibly difficult.Image: Shutterstock

LONDON, England – In March 2014, Wheels24 reported that the UK Department for Transport may consider relaxing the age at which drivers must renew their licence from 70 to 80-years-old.

Pensioners should be allowed to continue driving until they are 80 before having to renew their licence, according to a review by British transport officials.

That being said, some drivers are concerned about having elderly relatives behind the well.


Britain's Institute of Advanced Motorists is calling on the British government to introduce national driving health checks and provide better information for elderly drivers and their families.  

In the poll conducted by IAM, 1297 people showed that although concern about elderly drivers was evident, acting on concerns was another issue - 58% were unlikely to do anything about it.

When action is taken it doesn’t go down well as nearly half of respondents (47%) met negative reaction when confronting an elderly driver.


IAM chief executive Simon Best said: "Talking to an elderly relative about their driving is a difficult conversation to have. Driving is associated with independence, so giving up the car keys can be a very stressful process. This is especially true for drivers with dementia as they often underestimate the effect of the condition on their driving skills.

"Voluntary online and on road-driving assessments will provide an unbiased view and help everybody make the right decision at the right time. We are finding while there are some elderly drivers who should not be on the road, most get it right but as many as 15% give up too early.

"However, with ever-increasing number of elderly drivers, this is a growing mobility and road-safety issue that won’t go away.  The government needs to act now."

The IAM wants:
  • A government action plan for older drivers
  • Voluntary driver assessments
  • Automakers to consider senior drivers in design
  • Online assessment tools
  • Road design to help keep older people driving

The UK has more than four-million drivers older than 70-years-old. That figure will be 5.8-million in 2032.

Are you concerned about an elderly relative behind the wheel? Email us and we’ll publish your thoughts on Wheels24 or use our homepage voting booth.
Read more on:    britain  |  driving  |  old age

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