posted 3 years ago

Action Needed As Number Of Drivers Aged 70+ Rises 10,000 A Month

Safety charity calls for action as number of drivers aged 70+ rises 10,000 per-month in United Kingdom.

Number Of Drivers Aged 70+ On UK Roads

The number of drivers aged 70+ is rising by 10,000+ per-month so action has to be taken to “address the needs” of the older generation, a leading road safety charity claims. The UK-based Institute of Advanced Motorists says that drivers in this age bracket now total 4.34 million compared to 3.9 million in 2012. It equates to a rise of 323,631 – or 10,440 per-month - for 31 months.

Number Of Drivers Aged 80+ On UK Roads

Furthermore, the number of licence holders aged 80+ topped the 1,000,000 barrier for the first time in 2014, up from 988,424 in 2012. This has now risen to 1.17 million. There are also 82,937 drivers aged 90+ compared to 71,097 3 years earlier. Drivers aged 100+ now total 232 compared to 162 in 2012. The most senior is 107.

And it seems there will be more older drivers in the future as life expectancy rises. The Office of National Statistics says that there were 5 million people in the UK aged 70+ in 2012, for example. This is expected to rise to 5.5 million in 2017, 6.6 million in 2022, 7.7 million in 2027, 8.5 million in 2032, then 9.5 million in 2037.

Causes Of Accidents With Older Drivers

The safety charity's concern is that a motorist's ability diminishes with age, so – as the number of older drivers rises - there could be more collisions among the demographic. The charity says the factors that most often contribute towards a collision involving a person aged 70+ include: failing to judge the other person’s path or speed, poor turn-in or manoeuvre, losing control, illness, disability, dazzling sun, nervousness, anxiety, and panic. It adds that these factors are typical symptoms of “deteriorating physical and cognitive functioning”.

The Institute's Chief Executive, Sarah Sillars, says: “People are living longer and therefore there are many more drivers on the roads that are past retirement age.” She adds: “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.”

How To Make Older Drivers Safer

The safety charity is calling for the government, medical professionals and assessment providers to “come together” to minimise risk for older drivers and their fellow motorists. It is calling for: the government to devise an action plan, for motor manufacturers to build cars that better meet the needs of the older generation, for better information for older drivers and their families, for online self-assessment tools that indicate ability, and for wider availability of voluntary on-road driver assessment.