A new report published by the RAC Foundation questions whether older drivers can be ‘nudged’ in order to self-regulate their driving.
According to the report, ‘Can older drivers be nudged?’, currently most people only seriously re-consider their abilities behind the wheel when they reach the age of 70 – when they are required by law to reapply for their licence and certify they are safe to have one.
But one of the conclusions of the report is that motorists need to be encouraged to face up to the limitations of physical and mental ageing at whatever stage of life it occurs.
Dr Craig Berry, author of the report, says that older drives already self-regulate their behaviour, but they need to be given more help – particularly from those in the medical profession – to ensure that decisions made about driving are timely and appropriate, not just for their benefit but also for that of other road users.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “The older population is set to grow considerably. Official figures estimate that 10 million people who are alive today will reach their 100th birthday. And by 2023 a quarter of the population is expected to be over 65.
“Key to our mental and physical wellbeing throughout life is personal mobility and for many that involves car use.
“Older drivers are no less safe on the roads than the rest of the driving population, at least until the age of 80.
“Rather than discriminate against older drivers by setting arbitrary age limits beyond which motorists are seen as posing a hazard, we should develop a system that encourages individual responsibility amongst all drivers.”
Click here to read the full RAC Foundation report: ‘Can older drivers be nudged?’.