There are currently just over 4.3 million people in the UK aged 70 and over driving on our roads and the expectation is that this will double, if not treble, in the next 20 years as we all live longer. The oldest person who holds a driving licence is a man aged 107.
We know that older motorists have a wealth of experience, confidence and tolerance. However, sight, hearing, reaction time and judgement of speed and distance may not be as sharp as it once was.
Fragility increases with age, so injuries tend to be more serious and recovery takes much longer. Casualty rates do increase for car drivers aged over about 65, and the fatality rate increases significantly.
That’s where we come in: The Older Drivers Forum is about keeping mature motorists on the road safely for longer. Whether that’s giving you practical and informative help and support to continue driving or pointing you in the right direction for an assessment to identify your driving needs – from wing mirror adapters to an elevated driving seat – we’re here to help.
We’re a not-for-profit organisation made up of experts in road safety from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – from representatives from the emergency services, to charities, local authorities and businesses specialising in keeping older people on the road.
If you know an older driver, have contact with them regularly in your job or are perhaps just concerned for a friend or relative who is still driving then the Older Driver Forum may be able to help. Please visit their website www.olderdriversforum.com for more information.
From Monday, September 28 to Saturday, October 3, 2015, and in support of Older Peoples Day (Thursday, October 1), the forum is holding an Older Driver Awareness Week, offering advice and tips that will help older drivers continue to drive safely or help them to decide when to stop. We will be visiting six different venues throughout the week:
Monday, September 28 – Basingstoke Discovery Centre, Basingstoke
Tuesday, September 29 – Milford on Sea Community Centre, Milford on Sea, New Forest
Wednesday, September 30 – West Quay, Southampton
Thursday, October 1 – St Thomas’s Square and Newport Minister, Newport, Isle of Wight
Friday, October 2 – Cascades Shopping Centre, Portsmouth
Saturday, October 3 – Aldershot Library, Aldershot
The events are free to attend and open between 9.30am to 3pm, no appointment is required and people can pop in anytime during these hours.
The events are aimed at anyone with an interest, from older drivers themselves, to friends and relatives.
Advice will be available on:
brushing up your skills booking a driving assessment arranging a regular eyesight test getting advice on health and well-being issues that could affect driving ability renewing your licence at 70 learning about road safety and consequences of not being fit to drive discover alternatives to being independent without a car
Safety is the top priority; it should be the most important thing older drivers consider when there is concern over driving ability. The best advice is don’t wait for an accident or a near miss to convince a driver to stop, instead seek advice, support and help.
Research suggests that:
Drivers under 70 are no more likely to be the cause of a crash than other driver. But once over 70, they are more likely to be at fault, particularly where right-of-way violations are involved
Drivers over 85 are four times more likely to have caused a crash than to have been an innocent victim of one
Drivers over 65 take 22% longer to identify a hazard and react to it.
At 70mph that is two car lengths
Drivers who do fewer than 2,000 miles a year have an increased risk of collision
Many older drivers self regulate
Age-related decline in mental and physical abilities, coupled with age-related frailty, can make older drivers more likely to be involved in a crash – and more vulnerable to serious injuries