Planning needed for growing elderly drivers

Research by the IAM shows that the number of drivers over the age of 65 is increasing

The research, based on a freedom of information request to the DVLA combined with 2011 statistics from the Office of National Statistics, shows that the number of drivers over the age of 90 could rise from 70,000 to 84,000 by 2017 and the number of 80 year old drivers, currently just over a million could rise to over 1.25 million over the next decade.

The IAM warns that whilst elderly motorists are no more likely to cause crashes than younger drivers, the Government needs to form a strategy on making the growing elderly motoring population more aware of the risks faced in a modern motoring environment and that compulsory re-testing is not necessarily the answer. Existing law stated that motorists are required to renew their licence at 70 and every 3 years thereafter.


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One Response to “Planning needed for growing elderly drivers”

  1. Ken Lines says:

    Sometimes I really wonder where these so called experts get their ideas. “The IAM warns that whilst elderly motorists are no more likely to cause crashes than younger drivers, the Government needs to form a strategy on making the growing elderly motoring population more aware of the risks faced in a modern motoring environment…..”

    Has it not ocurred to them that the majority of elderly drivers have grown up with ever increasingly sophisticated and unnecessarily complex cars and motorcycles and are well aware of all the dangers and pitfalls of the modern motoring scenario. I started riding and driving in 1949 and currently drive a ’97 Carina and ride a 2007 CBR600RR. I have well over a million miles in cars and probably in the area of 350,000 miles on bikes.

    I have, as far as I can recollect, 2 claims made against me in all those years and miles. One claim in my youth when I skidded on a slippery, leafcovered, downhill, road into the car that had stopped in front of me in a concertina crash situation. The second claim was when I nudged the rear side panel of a car whilst turning into a tight space in a crowded car park. I estimate that £300 would have covered the cost of both damage repairs. With age and driving experience comes a greater awareness of the risks and dangers of modern driving couple with an awareness of the stupidity of some drivers and the things they are likely to do.

    Yet, despite my driving record I am finding that age discrimination has infiltrated my ability to obtain the vehicle insurance I want. I was annoyed to find that both my ‘bike and car insurance policies, renewed this year, no longer carry the DOC (may drive any other vehicle not belonging to me or hired to me under a hire purchase agreement) endorsement – Why? “Oh, it is company policy because of your age.” If I ask whether it is me or the vehicle they are insuring it becomes apparent that, as far as age is concerned it is me. In other respects as far as insurance is concerned it seems to be the car or bike I am driving/riding. No one, however, can explain why a am a bigger risk in this car than in that car or on this ‘bike rather than that ‘bike. Neither can I get a a plausible explanation of why it is around a hundred pounds a year cheaper to insure my 170mph/0-60 in 3.2 seconds/£7500 bike than to insure my 110mph/0-60 in around eleven seconds/£1000 car. This on like for like, fully comprehensive, protected no claims bonus, policies.

    I had thought of getting a new car and, feeling like a more relaxing riding style, moving up to something with a bigger more relaxed engine like a Fireblade/R1/ZX10. However it looks like the mere fact that I am 78 will preclude these desires. Luckily track day organisers such as MSV have no such restrictions and I can still enjoy the power and speed of my CBR6RR at Cadwell Park (my local track) whenever I feel like it.

    Age is merely a mental state and has little to do with the number of years one has lived.

    Ken Lines.