Senior motorists taking to the roads can stay safer for longer if they focus on “self-reflection”.

This is the view of road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist.

Growing number of older drivers

At present, more than two-thirds of people aged 70 and over in the UK hold a valid driving licence. This means there is a growing percentage of older motorists.

According to GEM road safety officer Neil Worth, there is a popular opinion that older drivers present a risk to other road users. However, he argues this is not the case when older drivers take the time to reflect properly on their own abilities behind the wheel.

Mr Worth commented: “The process of ageing is different for every single person. That’s why GEM is keen to encourage senior drivers to reflect on their own driving, to understand where they may be experiencing difficulty and to know where to get practical advice.”

He added that the process starts when older licence holders understand there are certain situations that will become more challenging for them as they age.

Appreciating the fact that reaction times are likely to be slower, vision may deteriorate and that your ability to be flexible and responsive behind the wheel will reduce, are all important aspects of assessing our own driver safety.

Understanding and accepting your own changing limitations is what it is really all about.

Heather Stark, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, comments: “Maintaining a positive outlook and continuing their independence is important for older drivers. That said, it’s equally important to realise when the time has come to hang up your keys, as ultimately, age will catch up with all of us in the end.”

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