Older Drivers in Britain Increase in Number

The number of motorists aged 70 years or above has been increasing by 10,000 drivers every month across the United Kingdom (UK). So, there are currently 4.34 million drivers aged 70 or older with valid driving licences in Britain, which is 320,000 more compared to the figures in previous year. It has an increase of 11 %  from 3.9 million in this age group.

With this fast growing number of aged drivers in the UK, concerns have been raised that this age group would pose as potential hazards on the road because the fact behind old age is a significant decrease in hazard perception and reaction time.

They may be still okay in terms of quickness in making decision as their brains are still functioning well, but weakness prevails in their other body parts.

However, there is also another fact in a free society that as much as possible older motorists have their own rights worthy to be uphold such as, to continue to enjoy their life on the road and experience the challenge of today’s motoring which is far more different compared with the time when they were young.

In the past 31 months, the number of motorists in this age bracket has increased by 323,631 which also means a monthly increase of 10,440 drivers. Meanwhile, the number of drivers who are 80 years old and above has now surpassed the one million mark for the first time.

Britain’s oldest holder of driving licence is now 107 years old. This is actually amazing that ultimately reflects how deeply Britain’s love and care for its elders.

Because of this significant increase in the number of drivers aged 70 years and above, there have been calls for some action plan in dealing with the specific needs of this age group. The IAM or the Institute of Advanced Motorists said the government, driving and medical assessment professionals should work together to ensure that these older motorists are well catered for.

IAM Chief Executive Sarah Millers says the people today have been living a longer life and many of them are still on Britain’s roads. We want these older motorists to enjoy their motoring as long as possible, so we want some resources and thought to go into the ways how we could make this happen.

A study conducted by the IAM has shown the common factors in road accidents that involve motorists aged 70 years and above are as follows: (1.) Poor turn-in manoeuvres (2.) To Fail in judging other road users’ speed or direction (3.) Losing control (4.) Illness or disability (5.) Nervousness (6.) Anxiety or panic (7.) dazzling sun.

In addressing these problems, the IAM has drawn an action plan for older motorists that includes among others a consideration of the vehicle’s design which could help this age group avoid road accident as well as how more information on the road could be provided to them.

Also, there should be more tools on the online assessment for older motorists, more voluntary assessment on the road and a more cooperation among different driving agencies across the country.

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