Older Drivers

Driver in a car

Driving licences expire at 70 years of age, so when you reach 70, you need to renew your driving licence if you wish to continue driving. You then need to renew it every three years afterwards.

That said, you don’t have to undergo any kind of test or inspection, medical or motoring, and there is no legal age at which you must stop driving – The UK’s oldest driver is a 109-year old man. Currently we have just over 4.75 million people aged 70 or over holding a driving licence in the UK. The numbers are increasing every year by about 250,000 and the expectation is we will have double if not treble the number of people driving 70 and over in the next 20 years.

As we get older our reactions can become slower, did you know that drivers over 65 take 22% longer to identify a hazard and react to it. At 70mph that is an additional two car lengths.

At the age of 70 you are no more at risk of being involved in a collision then any other group, in fact younger drivers are our highest risk on our roads.  However research has shown that in your mid-70s, drivers sometimes start to have problems assessing complex or high-speed traffic situations

Older Drivers:

o  Need more time to process information

o  Make slower decisions and fail to predict hazards as quick

o  Are less likely to speed

o  More likely to be in a crash involving a right of way violation

o  Most collisions occur at right turn T – junctions

o  Have difficulties merging with fast traffic from a slip road

o  Conduct a visual search poorly

How can I stay safe on the road?

There are three simple things you can do to carry on driving safely for longer:

  1.  Make sure you have regular eyesight tests with an optician – See our page on eyesight for more information – Click here
  2. Ensure you visit your doctor and seek medical advice relating to any medicines you are taking which may affect your driving – Click here for more information
  3. There are certain medical conditions which by law you must inform the DVLA about – Click here to find out more
  4. Undertake a voluntary appraisal of your driving. We all pick up bad habits, and it is a great way to brush up on your skills and carry on driving safely for longer. When was the last time someone appraised your driving? It’s fun and can really build your confidence, give it a go! Visit our courses page to find out what is available for your needs.  Click here

The law says:

There’s no legal age at which you must stop driving. You can decide when to stop, but medical conditions can affect your driving and might mean you have to give up your driving licence until you can meet the medical standards of fitness to drive again.

For more information about medical conditions which could affect your driving, click here.

If you’re uncertain whether your medical condition does or does not disqualify you from getting behind the wheel, consult with your GP.

You can be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t tell DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving. And if you’re involved in an accident, you may be prosecuted so don’t hesitate to report ill-health.

Brochures and Videos

Below are two excellent downloadable brochures which can help you carry on driving safely and give you alternatives if you decide you don’t want to drive one day or decide to retire from driving

Why not have a look at our videos page to find more help and advice on driving tips and support. We even have a video on how to make you more comfortable when driving or being a passenger. More on this below.

RICA Brochure

We have worked with Rica, an independent research charity who publishes practical consumer information, to create an informative brochure titled ‘Driving Safely for Life’ which is a guide on keeping safe and driving for as long as possible. This guide is designed to help older drivers think about their driving and make the right decisions to stay safe and independent. It gives advice on how to continue driving safely and comfortably, to help older drivers stay on the road for as long as possible

This is available for you to download and read 

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File Size – 1mb

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Older Drivers Forum, through its partners Hampshire County Council’s Older Driver’s Skills Scheme and Wessex Driveability, offers inexpensive refresher courses specifically tailored to the older driver.

The schemes are led by Approved Driving Instructors and each assessment includes:

  • Full consultation
  • Professional advice
  • Assessment in driver’s own vehicle – or a dual-controlled car (Wessex Driveability)
  • Range of adaptations to try
  • Detailed feedback
  • Written report

For more information contact :
01962 846100 (Hampshire County Council) or 023 8051 2222 (Wessex DriveAbility)

You can also find out more about these Courses by visiting our ‘Courses‘ page

Managing without a car

If you surrender your driving licence, are unable to drive because of ill-health or are contemplating giving up driving, you need to know what options are available to you to help get around and what organisations are on hand to assist.

Drivers of any age who travel less than 2000 miles a year are more at risk of having a collision than others. For those who do drive less than 2000 miles a year then it has been shown cheaper to use a taxi, even if you live in the country. The cost of using a taxi over a year is cheaper than paying for insurance, tax, petrol and maintenance of the vehicle.

The Older Drivers Forum have created a brochure to help you get around without a car. It may be easier than you think….

The brochure gives suggestions and local information on ‘Managing with out a Car’ in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, whilst still having independence and enjoying life.

This brochure is available to down load and read.

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File Size 0.5mb

Helpful Videos

The Older Drivers Forum have created a number of helpful videos for Older Drivers and their family and friends, why not have a look at the videos page by clicking here

Additionally why not visit ‘Still Safe to Drive which is a web site created from GEM Motoring Assist, which is the UK’s leading driving-based road safety association.

http://www.stillsafetodrive.org.uk/

This web site shows three informative videos featuring broadcaster Valerie Singleton and covers subjects such as:

1) The process of ageing: essential information for drivers

2) Stay as safe as possible for as long as possible: top tips for staying mobile and reducing risk

3) Conversations about giving up driving: three families share their experiences