Have an older driver in your life, then why not get them or yourself to pop down anytime between 9.30am and 3pm to Milford on Sea Community centre on Monday 2nd October 2017 and get advice on Driving Safely for Longer and much more. Its free to attend and lots of great support and advice. You can’t miss it.
Today our chair appeared on the Sasha Twinning on BBC Radio Solent live to talk about the Older Drivers Forum, our awareness week starting on 2nd October and taking questions from callers. You can hear the interview on the link below. The interview starts around 1:14:30 and finishes around 1:50:00
Monday 2nd October to Friday 6th October 2017
There are currently just over 4.75 million people in the UK aged 70 and over driving on our roads and the expectation is that this will double if not treble in the next 20 years as we all live longer. The oldest person who holds a driving licence is a male aged 109 years. Hampshire is shown as having the highest number of older drivers outside London.
We know that older motorists have a wealth of experience, confidence and tolerance. However, sight, hearing, reaction time and judgement of speed and distance may not be as sharp as it once was.
Fragility increases with age, so injuries tend to be more serious and recovery takes much longer. Casualty rates do increase for car drivers aged over about 65, and the fatality rate increases significantly.
That’s where we come in. The Older Drivers Forum is about keeping mature motorists on the road safely for longer. Whether that’s helping giving you practical and informative help and support to continue driving or pointing you in the right direction for an assessment to identify your driving needs – from wing mirror adapters to an elevated driving seat – we’re here to help.
We’re a not-for-profit organisation made up of experts in road safety from across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight – from representatives from the emergency services, to charities, local authorities and businesses specialising in keeping older people on the road.
If you know an older driver, have contact with them regularly in your job or are perhaps just concerned for a friend or relative who is still driving then the Older Driver Forum may be able to help. Please visit their website www.olderdriversforum.com for more information.
To find out about date and venues in Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Dorset then click here
The events are is free to attend and open, no appointment is required and people can pop in anytime during these hours. The events are aimed at anyone with an interest, from older drivers themselves, to friends and relatives.
Advice will be available on:
- brushing up your skills
- booking a driving assessment
- arranging a regular eyesight test
- getting advice on health and wellbeing issues that could affect driving ability
- renewing your licence at 70
- learning about road safety and consequences of not being fit to drive
- discover alternatives to being independent without a car Safety is the top priority; it should be the most important thing older drivers consider when there is concern over driving ability. The best advice is don’t become complacent and wait for an accident or a near miss to convince a driver to stop, instead seek advice, support and help.
Research suggests that:
- Drivers under 70 are no more likely to be the cause of a crash than other driver. But once over 70, they are more likely to be at fault, particularly where right-of-way violations are involved
- Drivers over 85 are four times more likely to have caused a crash than to have been an innocent victim of one
- Drivers over 65 take 22% longer to identify a hazard and react to it. At 70mph that is two car lengths
- Drivers who do less than 2000 miles a year have an increase risk of collision
- However, age-related decline in mental and physical abilities, coupled with age-related frailty, can make older drivers more likely to be involved in a crash – and more vulnerable to serious injuries
Lets help Older Drivers to carry on Driving Safely for Longer
The number of people aged over 90 holding a driving licence in Britain has topped 100,000 for the first time.
Figures from the DVLA also show more than 4.5 million of the 39 million people holding valid driving licences are aged over 70.
Hampshire is shown to have the second highest number of Older Drivers outside London.
Our Chair, Rob Heard, has over the last few days been doing many interviews on the subject.
Here at the Older Drivers Forum we have for many years identified an ageing population and have been supporting older drivers to continue driving for as long as they are safe to do so. We recommend that all drivers don’t become complacent about their abilities but consider undertaking voluntary driving assessments to brush up their skills and reduce the risk of any bad habits which we all pick up over the years. We have found that by undertaking voluntary driving appraisals and regular eyesight tests you reduce your risk of being involved in a collision and assist in allowing you to continue driving safely.
You can find out about what courses appraisal we recommend by visiting our Courses page by clicking here. The below video is from BBC Radio Solent and features John McEvoy who is 81 year old and recently undertook a ‘Drivers Skills 60+’ assessment with Hampshire County Council.
‘Without my car… I’d feel like I’ve been abandoned’ Click here to view
There are 4.9 million drivers over the age of 70 in the UK.
Currently those aged over 70 have to reapply for a licence every three years but there is no physical test involved. In 2015, Polly’s friend, Ian Massey, died after he was knocked down by an elderly driver who was driving the wrong way up a dual carriageway in Leicestershire.
In the wake of Ian’s death, Polly, who is 75 years old, has decided to voluntarily take a driving assessment which will determine how safe she is on the road and whether she can continue driving. If she fails, Polly will lose her independence as she says her inability to drive will leave her “trapped in” her house and cut-off from the world.
To view this film which gives an good overview of the scheme Click here
A NEW VIDEO, has been launched by Driving Mobility, aims to help older drivers stay safe at the wheel for as long as possible.
The new video, produced with funding from the GEM Motoring Assist Road Safety Charity, follows a senior driver through the initial consultation and pre-drive assessment and out onto the road, where he drives a pre-arranged route covering various road types. It also sets out the ways in which the Driving Mobility centres across the UK can assess someone’s fitness to drive, as well as addressing any issues that might put someone at higher risk of a collision.
Ed Passant, chief executive of Driving Mobility, said the video gave a clear picture of what a an older driver could expect from an assessment. “Drivers will know exactly what to expect when visiting any of our 16 centres, and I believe the video ably demonstrates our primary purpose, which is to support people to stay driving safely for as long as possible.”
Identifying individual issues and needs is key to keeping an older motorist safe, according to Sergeant Rob Heard of Hampshire Police, who established the award-winning Older Drivers Forum in 2013. It’s also vital that drivers – and their loved ones – are aware of the resources available to help them.
“This video is designed to provide useful information for drivers who need to attend an assessment at a driving mobility centre,” Rob Heard explains. “At the same time it should help drivers put aside any worries they may have about the assessment and what will be expected of them.
“Some drivers keen to ensure they remain as safe as possible will book and pay for an assessment themselves; others may attend following a referral from a doctor, other health professional or the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
“We’re keen to show that a driver assessment is not something to be dreaded, and in the majority of cases is a very positive and worthwhile exercise, where any safety issues can be resolved. Sometimes further tuition will be recommended, and very occasionally – because of safety concerns – it might be necessary to advise against further driving. But the aim, wherever possible, is to keep people driving safer for longer.”
Neil Worth, road safety officer for GEM Motoring Assist, says the video does an excellent job in reducing any anxiety a senior motorist may be feeling before attending this type of assessment. “If there were evidence that older drivers were more likely to cause collisions, then the Government would have restricted their licences or insisted on compulsory re-training by now.
“There is no evidence of this, however we do know that older drivers can struggle in situations where they have to make quick decisions, or where their ability to see all round is restricted. We also know that any injuries suffered by an older person in a collision will be more serious, simply because of increasing frailty.
“There are many solutions to these difficulties, not all of them appropriate for every driver. That’s why Driving Mobility centre assessments, with their focus on the needs of individual senior drivers, are true road safety winners. Thanks to this new video, any concerns that might go with such an assessment are sure to be greatly reduced.”
Hampshire Constabulary’s groundbreaking drive supporting older motorists to stay safe on our roads has today (JULY 4) reached the House of Commons.
Road Safety Sergeant Rob Heard will join leading experts from across the country in London today to recommend an action plan that will help make older drivers safer for longer.
With an ageing population, the Older Drivers Task Force believes it vital to take steps to give older drivers the support and confidence they need to ensure they retain their independence, while dismantling the stigma wrongly attached to elderly motorists.
The key recommendation announced today is to raise the age for when older motorists have to make the mandatory self-declaration that they are still fit to drive from 70 to 75.
However, this should only be implemented if proof of an eye sight test is made compulsory.
These recommendations form part of the Supporting Safe Driving into Old Age report, which sets out a national older driver strategy.
Police data suggests that older drivers are less likely to be involved in crashes than young drivers. They are, however, more fragile and four times more likely to die or be seriously injured in a road accident.
More than 25 experts and organisations in transport, health, policing licensing, car manufacturing and insurance joined forces to produce the report, which has seven key recommendations.
To see the full report, Click Here
1. Raising the automatic requirement for drivers to notify the DVLA at age 70 of any medical condition affecting driving to 75 – if the requirement for an eye sight test is made compulsory
2. Requiring the DVLA to get evidence of an eyesight test at licence renewal
3. Asking a consumer body to prepare specific advice on modern car safety features that are of special significance for older drivers – and consider “silver” NCAP-style assessment
4. Improving road design, signs and markings to meet the highest international standards specifically to aid older drivers but bringing benefits for all drivers
5. Evaluating existing driving appraisal courses and improving information provided to older drivers, their families, and medical professionals
6. Piloting new products which offer an alternative to driving for older people.
7. Pooling insurer data and research into major claims involving older drivers to understand the detailed causes.
Sergeant Rob Heard has played an instrumental role in improving support for older drivers, setting up the innovative Older Drivers Forum in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, back in June 2013.
Since then it has won celebrity backing from journalists John Sergeant and Jennie Bond.
The work by the forum locally has also been recognised by the report, which has also called for a National Older Drivers Awareness week, something that has been run in Hampshie and the Isle of Wight over the last three years. The next once starts on September 26.
Sgt Heard said: “I have been proud to be part of this national task force and share the great work we have been doing in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to support older drivers with our Older Drivers Forum partnership.
“I feel that should the recommendations be agreed then we will go a long way to help and support the mature motorist to carry on driving safely for longer in our ageing population
“The Older Drivers Forum in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has already helped in supporting and guiding the older motorists and other interested parties in keeping safe on the road.
“The forum is made up of experts in road safety from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – from representatives from the emergency services, to charities, local authorities and businesses specialising in keeping older people on the road.
“Whether that’s helping giving practical and informative help and support to continue driving or pointing older drivers in the right direction for an assessment to identify their driving needs’.
The task force, welcomed by the Government, is managed by the Road Safety Foundation and supported by Ageas, the leading insurer of older drivers.
John Plowman, chairman of the Older Drivers Task Force, said: “Our aim is to help older people drive safely for longer by changing our culture.
“A key precondition is that older motorists should be medically fit to drive and seek advice when a limiting condition develops or gets worse, but age itself should not be a barrier to safe driving.
“Encouraging voluntary, confidential driving appraisals so that they become the norm not a stigma and helping older drivers understand and use the latest safety-driven vehicle technology will make a big difference.
“People are living longer, healthier, more active lives, and driving longer. The number of drivers over 85 will double to 1 million by 2025, many without access to public transport. This influx of older drivers has important economic and social value but it also presents road safety risks if we don’t adapt.
“Getting to grips with these risks, without limiting the independence and freedoms of the elderly is an important policy challenge – one to be tackled by the appointment of a minister with responsibility for older drivers.”