Older drivers urged to have their skills re-assessed

Older drivers urged to have their skills re-assessed 13th May 2015

Older drivers are being urged to have their driving skills re-assessed to make sure they are sharp and safe on the roads, as part of a new initiative that has been launched by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

IAM said that older drivers are the safest on the roads statistically, with far fewer breaking the law and many more taking extra care than those in their younger years. IAM said that in 2014, some 36,001 people between 20 and 30 were disqualified from driving, compared to 3,000 in their 60s.

It also added that Association of Chief Police Officers' figures show that in the Christmas period at the tail end of last year, half as many people over 30 were charged with drink driving than under 30s. 

However, the organisation also said there is often a degree of uncertainty among older motorists. As the roads get busier and there are more drivers to contend with, older people can lose confidence, feeling that their skills on the road are perhaps not as sharp as they used to be. 

It said that some 36 per cent of older drivers have felt less confident as a result of them feeling their reaction times have slowed, while 29 per cent just want to have reassurance that they are still competent and safe on the road. 

For this reason, the charity has launched the Mature Drivers Assessment, which is a 60 minute drive with an IAM assessor, who will give the driver a second opinion on how they are on the road. The intention is to instill more confidence among older people about their driving skills. 

The IAM’s chief executive Sarah Sillars said: “Practical campaigns are needed to help keep all road users safe, and the Mature Drivers Assessment serves to keep older drivers driving for as long as it is safe to do so."

Posted by Danielle Barge