Older drivers

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blythburgh
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Older drivers

Post by blythburgh » Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:39 am

So Prince Phillip is driving at 97 but seemed fit to do so. Then the accident happens. It is a notorious accident blackspot of a road. He might have been blinded by the sun and so not seen the other car.

But is his age enough to force him to give up driving? I do not think it should. But I am concerned about the current system where you tell the DVLA you are fit to drive and renew your licence every three years after you hit 70. Is this enough?

I wonder how many drivers have regular eye checks. How many drivers have ever had an eye check. I was in my 30's before I discovered I was short sighted and needed glasses. I read the number plate when I took my test but assumed everyone found it a tad difficult so did not go to the opticians at that point.

And I remember quite a few years ago now an acquaintance saying a friend aged 82 (or something like that) was coming to do some DIY for her. She told me he never goes to the Doctor and has never had an eye test and that he buys reading glasses in the shop as he cannot read without them. But how good was his distance sight? He could not be sure and no doubt he is not alone.

Perhaps all drivers should be required to have an eye test when they apply for a first licence and every driver over a certain age should get them at least every 2 or 3 years
Keep smiling because the light at the end of someone's tunnel may be you, Ron Cheneler

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Re: Older drivers

Post by William Joseph1 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:02 pm

I would see no problem in having to provide proof every three years that you have had an eye test, when you renew your licence. Probably a positive thing to legislate for. But I would not support a medical every three years to provide evidence of fitness, in my view the cost to the individual and to the DVLA to police it would be prohibitive.
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Re: Older drivers

Post by macliam » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:16 pm

In Portugal, licenses must be renewed every 5 years after age 50 and a medical test certificate may be required. At 70 this changes to renewal every 2 years with a mandatory medical certificate......
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Re: Older drivers

Post by pabenny » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:22 pm

Ultimately, I am responsible for my own fitness to drive every time I get behind the wheel. I may be unfit today due to ill-health, due to the effects of medication or just the effect of advancing years.

The risk with a medical assessment is that it shifts that responsibility to the medical assessor. Some older people will take the view that they were assessed as being fit at the time and so they are still OK today.

There is a risk in the opposite direction that the assessment covers fitness to drive anywhere at any time with the result that drivers are retired prematurely. Being fit to drive a couple of miles to the shops along familiar routes at quiet times of day is one thing. Mixing it on the M25 at rush hour is another.

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Re: Older drivers

Post by pabenny » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:24 pm

The incident with the Duke of Edinburgh illustrates that people who are unfit to drive (and he may or may not be) don't face up to it until they have an accident or a very near miss.

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Re: Older drivers

Post by expressman33 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:50 pm

They should introduce a "reaction time" test for ALL drivers to be retaken every 5 years ( apart from the emergency stop),and once over 70 to be retaken every 3 years

blythburgh
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Re: Older drivers

Post by blythburgh » Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:40 am

I was against the medical test for the over 70's on the grounds that GP's are already overloaded with work. Other posts on here have brought up other reasons for opposing them.

And mile per mile apparently it is the under 25 who have the most accidents. But in reality there are people of both sexes and all ages who are bad drivers.
Keep smiling because the light at the end of someone's tunnel may be you, Ron Cheneler

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Re: Older drivers

Post by Chadwick » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:23 pm

pabenny wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:24 pm
The incident with the Duke of Edinburgh illustrates that people who are unfit to drive (and he may or may not be) don't face up to it until they have an accident or a very near miss.
That may also be the first time they become aware there is even a problem, let alone facing up to it.
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Re: Older drivers

Post by pabenny » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:50 pm

blythburgh wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:40 am
And mile per mile apparently it is the under 25 who have the most accidents.
I've been unable to find any recent data on the accident rate of drivers by age group (someone else may have more success). ONS data certainly shows that young people are more likely to be killed or injured in road traffic accidents. But that is as pedestrians or cyclists and not as drivers. And (despite the spammers), most accidents don't result in injury.
blythburgh wrote:But in reality there are people of both sexes and all ages who are bad drivers.
That's not the same thing as being unfit to drive. I may normally be an excellent driver but if I'm woozy from medication, I'm not fit to drive.

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Re: Older drivers

Post by Constantine » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:29 pm

Table RAS20002
Drivers in reported accidents by gender, number injured, road user type and age, Great Britain, latest available year (ODS, 47.5KB)

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistic ... e-ras20002

Any good?
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