Drivers aged over 70 years are no more likely to cause crashes than other drivers, and are considerably safer than younger drivers, according to a report published on 18/1/10 by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists).
Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “The report contradicts the common assumption that older drivers are a danger on the roads.
“Just 8% of drivers are over 70 and they are involved in around 4% of injury crashes; but of the 15% of drivers who are in their teens and 20s, 34% are involved in injury crashes.”
The IAM says that older people rely heavily on their cars, and the ability to drive gives many older people better mobility and access to more activities. Men in their seventies make more trips as car drivers than men in their late teens and 20s.
Neil Greig added: “The IAM recommends that, rather than seeking to prevent older people from driving, we need to make them aware of the risks they face, and offer them driving assessments to help them cope with these risks.”
Greg Lewis of Age Concern/Help the Aged said: “We believe that where drivers wish to continue behind the wheel beyond the age of 70, only convincing reasons should prevent them from doing so.
“An elderly person’s risk of being killed or suffering a serious injury as a result of a road crash is between two and five times greater than that of a younger person because of their increased physical frailty.”
Click here to read the full IAM news release.
Click here to download the full IAM report.