The UK has an ageing population and with more people living well into their 90s and even past 100, this means there are more and more senior drivers on the nation’s roads.
Figures published by the DVLA show there are now more than 113,000 UK motorists over the age of 90 and 500-plus centenarians that still hold a driving licence.
Self-awareness and safety should be paramount
In response to the rising number of elderly motorists, road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist believes more now needs to be done to ensure older drivers are regularly assessing their fitness to get behind the wheel.
“There’s no upper age limit for driving. The only requirement in law for drivers aged over 70 is to declare every three years that they are fit to drive,” commented GEM road safety officer Neil Worth.
“In the absence of re-testing and mandatory eyesight checks, it’s vital that family members and friends are willing to keep an eye on their senior relatives – and take appropriate action if anything causes them concern.”
Warning signs to look out for include failing eyesight, slower reaction times, frailty that could lead to a loss of control of the vehicle and memory problems. If family members of older drivers become aware of any of these issues, then it may be time for them to hang up their keys.
Heather Stark, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, comments: “While a driving licence can be key for many older people’s independence, the wider issue of a potential risk to public safety should always be taken into account when deciding if an individual is fit to take to the nation’s busy roads.”