New research has revealed that when older motorists are involved in road accidents, failing to look properly is often the cause…
Older Drivers and Road Accidents
Research has revealed that older drivers involved in road accidents are more likely to have failed to look properly than other age groups. Department for Transport (DfT) data shows that the mistake was involved in 42.6% of accidents involving motorists aged over 70. The average for all ages is lower, at 35.7%.
According to the RAC Foundation, the figure presents a “strong case” for requiring drivers to have their eyesight checks; specifically at the point of renewing their driving licences. Other issues more likely to affect older drivers include failing to judge a vehicle’s speed or path, becoming nervous or being dazzled.
Nevertheless, older drivers are significantly less likely to find themselves in an accident due to speeding, reckless driving or being over the alcohol limit. As a general rule, they’re less likely to cause an accident; perhaps a testament to their experience.
‘The Challenge of Preserving Our Mobility’
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, commented on the figures. He said, “it seems that as a nation we are getting older; and with age comes the challenge of preserving our mobility, independence and quality of life. As our faculties decline, we owe it to ourselves and other road users to routinely assess our own competence to drive”.
He continued, “we are not convinced of the need for mandatory re-testing. But there is a strong case for requiring all drivers to have their eyes tested; ideally linked to the renewal of photo ID driving licences. The worst thing a driver can do is ignore a medical condition that might impact their ability to drive”.
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