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Old Vs Young – but who is safer behind the wheel?

New research shows that Older Drivers are less likely to cause accidents than the young.

According to new research by the University of Swansea, older drivers are actually safer than you might think behind the wheel.

The study found that whilst the over 70’s have a higher risk of death or injury if they are involved in a car
accident – simply due to their age, they are in fact much less likely to have been the cause of an accident than younger drivers.

Dr Musselwhite Professor at the University of Swansea said: “Most people are of the opinion that elderly car drivers are a danger on the road, in fact they’re not. There is a thought that testing old people more regularly will make the roads safer but our research suggests that is unlikely.

“Because we live in a very mobile society, shops and services can often be considerable distances away and family tend to live further away than in previous generations and so keeping the older generations mobile is vital.

“Forcing elderly drivers to give up their licence is linked to increase in depression, health related problems and mortality, so there is something really important about driving in later life.”

Although there have been some very high profile accidents where the driver was elderly the study indicates that older drivers make no more mistakes than younger drivers.

They tend to be more careful and considered however do not respond very well if they are under pressure from other drivers. 

The current law states that drivers must renew their licence at age 70 then every 3 years after. They self certify that they meet the criteria on eye sight and any medical conditions that may affect their ability to drive.

Some areas are offering free refresher sessions with a driving instructor for the over 70, others call for a retest. Let us know your thoughts on this?

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