Most UK motorists want elderly drivers to give up licence

Expert: 'Drivers should be banned at 70'

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A new survey has found that a staggering 77 percent of people believe elderly drivers should face compulsory health and fitness tests. After Mary Poppins star Dick Van Dyke was involved in a car accident earlier this week, it was reported that the police had asked the authorities to intervene.

According to TMZ, the actor will be required to retake his driving test, as a result of his advanced age.

As a result of this, experts at Forbes Advisor have revealed that a majority of drivers think elderly drivers should face compulsory fitness tests.

Half (51 percent) of those participating in the updated survey believe that elderly drivers should be made to surrender their licence at a set age. 

This would be regardless of their health and fitness, with 12 percent of people saying it should happen at some point in a person’s early 80s.

That idea was less favourable with people in older age brackets – more than half (55 percent) of those over the age of 70 asked said no such law should be introduced

However, perhaps surprisingly, more than a third (34 percent) said it was a good idea.

Forbes Advisor found that older drivers consider themselves among the safest on the roads.

Despite this, research shows the frequency and average value of insurance claims climb among motorists when they reach their 70s.

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Only 18-to-20-year-olds have a higher average claim figure than those aged 80 and over.

Kevin Pratt, car insurance spokesperson at Forbes Advisor, said: “The UK’s roads are getting more crowded, with improved longevity playing its part as drivers stay behind the wheel for longer. 

“But how do we manage the potential problem of having an increasing number of drivers with declining faculties and health problems that might impair their driving ability and lead to accidents?”

He added that many older drivers will claim that their experience and cool-headedness make them safer drivers when out on the road.

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In the same sense, they state that young drivers are inexperienced and exuberant which can make them more dangerous.

Others may argue that a mandatory health test for those above a certain age makes sense.

Only those who fail the test will be affected, with other road users benefitting from having fewer potential dangerous situations arise.

Mr Pratt added: “Should there be a blanket requirement to surrender your licence when you reach, say, 85? 

“That seems draconian, given that there are bad drivers and good drivers at every age. But the Government will need to confront the issue at some point given the demographic factors that are slowly but surely putting more elderly drivers on the road.”

Recently, there have been calls for elderly drivers to have more sanctions placed on them. According to data from the Department for Transport, crashes increase over the age of 75, with the highest rate for any group being 86 and over.

One expert, criminal defence lawyer Paul Britton, stated that there are more collisions by elderly drivers than all other age groups put together for the top category of reasons for the crash.

This could include failing to see the road and other eyesight issues, as well as having slower reaction times.

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