Should Older Drivers Re-Sit their Driving Test?
Despite high-profile calls for older drivers to be forced to retake their driving test, research shows that drivers over 70 years of age are actually
amongst the safest on UK roads.
Former motor racing ace Sir Stirling Moss, ex-BBC newsreader Anna Ford, and Meredydd Hughes, chief constable of South Yorkshire Police, have all
gone on record to suggest that compulsory retaking of driving tests by older drivers would improve road safety.
Stirling Moss said it would be a good idea for drivers to be re-evaluated at age 70 and then at five year intervals thereafter. Anna Ford believes that
regular driving tests after the age of 70 should be introduced because cars are "lethal machines", and Meredydd Hughes wants driver retesting to
occur at several points during a motorist's life.
No Case for Compulsory Retesting of Older Drivers
However, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) believes there is no convincing evidence to support compulsory retesting of older drivers at an
After carrying out its own research, the IAM found that drivers over the age of 70 are actually less likely to be in a crash resulting in injury than drivers
aged below 30.
It claims 8% of motorists are over 70, yet they are involved in 4% of crashes resulting in injury. On the other hand, 15% of motorists are under 30, yet
are involved in 34% of crashes resulting in injury.
Why Might Older Drivers be Safer Drivers?
Reasons why older drivers tend to be safer than their youthful counterparts include:
Experience - There is no substitute for a lifetime of on-the-road experience. Older drivers who have seen it all, are often far more able to anticipate
potential hazards than inexperienced road users.
Older drivers tend to take fewer trips at times when accidents are more likely to occur, e.g. in poor light, wet weather, or during rush hour.
Older drivers often adopt a more careful and restrained driving style, which can mean that they are less likely to speed or drive recklessly. This also