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Older drivers

Older drivers have more experience. They're also likely to be more tolerant and confident too, which can mean they're safer on the road than other age groups.

 

But your sight, hearing, and judgement may not be as sharp as they were. And driving is more complex and demanding than it used to be, with more traffic on the roads.

 

You need to take even greater care, and adjust your driving habits to compensate for any deterioration in your eyesight or judgement. A simple adaptation to your car may help if you have mobility problems.

 

Medical conditions

You must notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of the onset or worsening of a medical condition that could affect your ability to drive safely, including heart problems, epilepsy and diabetes.

 

If you are on prescribed medication, ask your doctor if it could affect your driving.

 

Your eyesight

It's illegal to drive if you can't read a number plate from 20.5m (67 feet) away. Have your eyes tested regularly, as changes in your eyesight can happen slowly and without you realising it.

 

Refresh your skills

Even experienced drivers can slip into bad habits, so it's a good idea to refresh your knowledge from time to time and keep up-to-date with changes in the law.

 

Renewing your licence

You must renew your licence when you reach the age of 70, and every three years afterwards. But there's no legal cut-off age when you should stop driving - it's really up to you. It won't be an easy decision to make but don't wait for an accident to convince you it's time to stop.

 

Facts and stats

  • There is a clear rise in the proportion of ‘right of way violations’ collisions with driver age; the greater part of this rise occurred after the age of 60 years
  • Poor observation, misjudgement of another vehicle’s speed/distance and distraction were found to be a major explanatory factors in fatal crashes in the over 60’s

 

Facts and stats taken from Department for Transport, Fatal Vehicle-occupant Collisions; An In-depth Study

 

The information for this page has been taken from the Think Road Safety website and we acknowledge any copyright.

 

Further information and advice about older drivers can be found at the Think! and the Highway Code websites.