In 30 year’s time when autonomous vehicles are king and serious collisions are things of the past, people may be surprised to read about the scale of death and injury on our roads in 2016.

John Plowman. Chairman of the Older Drivers Task Force

There may be changes afoot for the older driver. The most recent recommendation delivered by leading road safety experts in the UK, is to raise the mandatory fitness to drive declaration from 70 – 75.

How will this be done?

The Older Driver Tasks Force has published a report Supporting Safe Driving into Old Age and the main recommendation is that the age of licence renewal should be raised from 70-75, if proof of an eyesight test is made compulsory.

foggy road

Are older drivers a danger to others?

• Police records show that the risk of an older driver over 70 killing a pedestrian is less than that of middle-age drivers and half that of drivers aged up to age 25.

• For the first time, the Task Force was given ‘catastrophic claims’ data from a leading insurer in the older driver market providing important insights. Some older drivers, possibly those in the over 80 group, may be disproportionately involved in crashes leading to very serious third party injuries.

• There have been some high-profile collisions involving older drivers who were clearly unfit to drive. Lessons should be learned from these tragic events, but they need to be kept in proportion.

The number of drivers over 85 will double to 1 million by 2025

Older people are more liable to be involved in crashes where there has been a right of way violation but less likely to be involved in crashes involving alcohol or loss of control.

Vehicle driving into tree

At the moment, what is being suggested are only recommendations.

In my next post I’ll write about the actions and skills an older driver can brush up on and take to remain safe on the road for their own peace of mind.