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Can you still be a safe driver over the age of 70?

22 July 2017 09:00

It is not a “yes / no” answer but in general, older drivers are amongst the safest on our roads today – yes really.

With the number of drivers over the age of 70 set to double over the next 20 years, there is a pressing need for enlightened policies and practical actions to help them keep safe and competently mobile for as long as possible. There are also more than one million drivers over the age of 80.

But what do older drivers think themselves?  Dr. Carol Hawley of the University of Warwick has surveyed more than 2,600 drivers and former drivers to gain fresh insights on their opinions, habits and motoring history.  The report updates a previous AA Foundation Report from 1996 and tracks changing opinions over the last two decades.

Many older drivers are in favour of tightening current regulations but also want to see these ideas extended to all drivers no matter what their age. The report also shows just how significant driving is to an older person’s life. 82% said that driving was very or extremely important to them, a figure that increases for women.

For older people, the need to drive goes way beyond simply going from A to B. It is all about maintaining self-esteem, freedom and meaningful contact with others.  Today’s older drivers have not yet started to think about giving up and that presents a real challenge for organisations trying to provide advice and guidance.

If you are over 60 and would like to have your driving competence checked you can take the IAM RoadSmart “Mature Driver Assessment”.

Visit the IAM RoadSmart website for more details.