The ultimate Barbie car? German tuners Hamann pimp a Range Rover and turn it very pink
1 million drivers aged over 80
There are now more than 1 million drivers on the UK’s roads aged over 80. This is according to figures from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), uncovered by a freedom of information request made by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) at the end of January.
The DVLA’s records show that there are now 1,012,399 drivers aged over 80 – 122 of which are aged over 100, including three 105 year olds and a 106 year old. Making the gap between the oldest and the youngest drivers on our roads nearly 90 years.
Given that the driving licence test wasn’t introduced until 1935, some of these drivers may never have taken any kind of official examination. Under current legislation, drivers are required to renew their licence at 70, and every three years after, but there is no requirement for a full re-test.
Similarly, although doctors are supposed to inform the DVLA if they believe a patient should not be driving, there is no compulsory requirement for any kind of medical.
According to another freedom of information request, this time from the Daily Telegraph newspaper, there are 2,593 drivers aged 90 and above with penalty points on their licence.
Such figures are likely to reignite calls from some motorists’ groups for compulsory re-testing of the elderly. Though others have apparently made counter suggestions, including increasing the size of the lettering on road signs.
The IAM, on the other hand, points out that according to accident statistics, the rate of deaths and serious injuries in crashes amongst drivers over 80 is three times less than the rate for those aged 17-19.
In 2010, figures for licence holders aged 17-19 equate to roughly one death or serious injury per 1,000. Those aged 20 to 24 are 36.4% more likely to suffer death or serious injury in a car crash than those over 80.
This despite the chances of death or serious injury when involved in a crash increasing in those aged over 80, due to their frailty.
The number of older drivers will continued to rise as the average age of the population increases, with the Office of National Statistics predicting that there will be 8.7 million people aged over 75 by 2033. That will be an increase of 81.1% compared to 2008, which works out at 4.8 million people.
IAM chief executive Simon Best:
“Older people need their cars which give them better mobility and access to more activities and services. Those who wish to continue driving beyond the age of 70 should only be prevented from doing so if there are compelling reasons.
“Rather than seeking to prevent older people from driving, we should make them more aware of the risks they face, and offer them driving assessments to help them eliminate bad habits. Driving helps older people play a full and active part in society.”
Image © PA
related stories on msn
Latest Cars videos
Take control of your truck and prove your driving skills in Trucker: Parking Simulator - the realisitc 3D lorry driver 'driving test' game for iOS.
Date 52 mins ago, Duration 1:02, Views 0