Road Safety News
 

GEM launches new resource for ‘senior’ drivers

Wednesday 28th August 2013

The road safety charity GEM Motoring Assist has produced a new online resource to promote safer use of the roads by senior drivers.

The resource, stillsafetodrive.org.uk, comprises three videos presented by TV presenter Valerie Singleton.

The first video is a reminder of the legal obligations on senior drivers, such as what happens when you reach the age of 70, and disclosure about medical conditions.

The second contains seven simple tips, all focusing on staying safe for longer. These include advice on staying physically fit, having a regular eye test, journey planning and ensuring the car that you drive is the most appropriate for your particular needs.

In the third film, Valerie Singleton introduces three ‘senior’ drivers in discussion with a family member about their driving. Each discussion is observed and evaluated by professor Andrew Parkes, psychologist and research director at the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL).

David Williams MBE, chief executive of GEM Motoring Assist, said: “We all want to stay as mobile as possible for as long as possible, but safety has to be the priority, not only for senior drivers but for others who share the same road space.

“Our new resource aims to offer simple but useful information that can help older drivers safely extend their time behind the wheel, as well as helping them and their family members to know how to assess the risks when overall safety becomes more of a concern.”

A key element of the resource is the recommendation for seniors to give their driving a regular ‘once-over’. This can be done by signing up to complete a driver assessment from GEM Motoring Assist, in conjunction with charity RoSPA.

David Williams explains: “A car gets its annual MOT, so it makes sense for the driver to get checked as well, especially bearing in mind that many drivers aged 70+ will have received no form of refresher training for more than half a century. However, our assessment is not a test and therefore there is no ‘fail’, but it will help to show where you are doing well and where perhaps you could do a little better.

“Getting old does not automatically equate to a total loss of driving skill and ability. But it’s important that we pay attention to any warning signs suggesting that age may be compromising our driving safety and, in so doing, make the appropriate adjustments.

“We hope that this resource will help families deal with this potentially difficult and sensitive topic.”

Click here to view the videos.

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I have said this before. I would not like to undergo a stringent test, that's a personal belief, but I wouldnt mind an assessment as is the case when someone comes back to driving after an illness. With the possibility of a recommendation of a few hours training to iron out any defects that I may have. I do believe that other circumstances re: eyesight ability should be considered, and not just a peripheral test as is the case at the moment.
bob craven Lancs

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+1

An excellent resource for older drivers and their friends and relatives. Using real people's experiences as case studies to provide practical advice on how to deal with some very difficult issues is welcome. Both on a personal and professional level I will be making colleagues, friends and relatives aware of this resource. Well done GEM!
Robert Smith

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