I read the other day about these people who run assessments for us older drivers.
Some older drivers don’t see or hear too well, or their reactions might not be as quick as they were, but they still drive.
For example, the old gentleman across the road from me is 90-ish, a dear old chap, but frail now, and I am not convinced at all that he is still safe on the roads.
If/when I may need to give my car up, I would be so lost.
I haven’t got a husband, or half a dozen kids or grandkids that would take me places, or bring my shopping in, or take me to the docs.
It’s all very well having groceries delivered, but they are not going to come out with an order if you only want a pint of milk and a loaf of bread, are they!
How would I get my dogs to the vets, get to the bank, or take stuff over the Tip, etc?
So how would you manage if you’d driven most of your life, and then couldn’t any more?
Would you ever consider anything like the assessments these people offer for older drivers?
Do you think you would still pass?
My local county council used to run free older-driver assessments, consisting of a 2-hour appraisal by a driving professional and a 1-hour review 3 months later. I took the opportunity to have my ancient skills appraised - they were considered adequate except for my tendency to be “quick off the mark”, which, TBH, was due to my car being brand-new and “sporty”. When the review came around, I made sure to moderate my enthusiasm …
In Great Britain in 2019, 203 drivers aged 60 and over were killed in road collisions, while 1,867 were seriously injured and 7,844 were slightly injured.
The risk of being involved in a collision increases after the age of 70, but up to that age drivers are no more likely to cause a crash than to be the victim of another road user’s mistake. However, drivers over 70, and especially over 80, are more likely to be at fault when they crash.
This short checklist is designed to help you consider whether your driving is changing. You could also ask someone who knows how you drive, such as a family member, to fill it in and compare their answers with yours.
The comparison, in some cases, will be “enlightening”.
Prior to the pandemic, local councils in the borough contacted registered organisations for those over 60 and provided literature to be passed around members and on to non-members. It was very successful, since those who had taken the opportunity for appraisal relayed their positive experiences to friends and relatives - I was informed by a friend.
This may be out of date now but, in the North-West, driving assessment centres were easy to find: