An increasing amount of elderly drivers – how can we keep them safe?

Recent statistics have illuminated the vast array of older drivers on our roads. It is estimated that over 4 million drivers currently on UK roads are over the age of 70. Furthermore, 1.17 million of these are over 80, and over 11,000 people who are over the age of 90 still hold a driving licence.

When one considers how driving has changed and evolved over the past 50 years, it is obvious to notice that our roads are getting progressively crowded as the years advance, and within the last 10 years it seems as though these figures have rapidly increased.

Indeed, when looking at drivers over 70 alone, statistics show an increase of 10,440 per month on average.

This has led to the IAM planning schemes to try and aid drivers over the age of 80 by calling out to not only the government, but also medical professionals and assessment providers.

Here are some of the proposed changes and implementations that the IAM has suggested in order to increase the safety of our older road users throughout the UK. A government action plan for older drivers

  • The increased promotion and development of self-assessment tools for older drivers, so they are not left behind as the motoring world evolves
  • A greater consideration for older drivers in vehicle manufacturing. Ease of use and enhanced safety are of upmost importance.
  • Increased availability of high quality information for older drivers and their families
  • Wider availability of voluntary on-road driving assessments to increase elderly drivers awareness and confidence
  • Better partnership working at a local level

To conclude, we will end with a quote from Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer:

“People are living longer and therefore there are many more drivers on the roads that are past retirement age. We want these drivers to enjoy their motoring for as long as possible, so we want some thought and resources to go into how we can allow this to happen.”

The IAM are catalysing change in the way we think and provide for the elderly in regards to the motoring industry. After all, retired drivers should be able to enjoy being on the road as much as they did in their youth, without worry of slipping behind the ever increasing motoring scene.