Many people have presumptions when it comes to elderly drivers, which has led to the RAC Foundation carrying out a new investigation into drivers over the age of seventy. Currently in the UK, once someone turns 70 they are required to declare whether or not they are fit to continue driving, which they then have to repeat every three years. However, the investigation found that many drivers who think they are still safe to drive are not physically or mentally fit enough to be in charge of a vehicle, and many that claim they are not capable actually are.
The investigation, which was carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory at the RAC Foundation, found that one in ten motorists who are over the age of seventy are not fit to drive and should give up their cars, whilst a third that voluntarily stop driving are probably still safe to be on the road. The report has revealed that the main problem is that there is no regulation or systematic use of self-assessment tools to help those over the age of seventy make their decision, meaning that they could easily make the wrong one.
Director of the RAC Foundation, Professor Stephen Glaister said: “This study puts the spotlight on older drivers and the wrong decisions they are probably making about whether or not they are fit to drive. Each year hundreds of thousands of drivers could be making the wrong decision about their ability to drive because they lack the tools or advice to adequately assess their skills behind the wheel.” Professor Glaister went on to say that even though there needs to be more help when it comes to elderly drivers choosing whether they are capable or not to drive, he doesn’t believe compulsory testing should be introduced at a certain age.
He said: “This presumes that on reaching a particular birthday people’s physical and mental capacities change radically. We do see an important need for an ongoing dialogue with motorist and encouragement from officials and the medical profession for all of us to regularly consider our abilities – whatever our age. The Government have a responsibility not to exclude the elderly from society. They must make it easier for older drivers to make realistic choices about their abilities and keep them driving whenever possible.”
Insurance providers will be pleased to hear that the RAC is pushing for more help when it comes to elderly drivers choosing whether or not they should be on the road, and hopefully this could lead to the introduction of more cheap motor insurance quotes for drivers throughout the UK.