The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has launched a brand new website designed to help older people adapt their driving and remain safe on the roads. The website, www.olderdrivers.org.uk, has been setup by the safety charity with the support and funding of the Department for Transport and it provides advice and helpful information for older drivers to help to support them to drive safely for longer.
The website has been designed to be full of tips and advice to help older drivers update their skills behind the wheel and also improve their knowledge to keep them driving freely and independently for longer. It also provides helpful advice for families and friends who may have concerns about the driving of their loved ones. It is designed to give drivers the tools they need to recognise whether there has been in a change in their driving, find out how to adapt to changes such as considering an adapted vehicle or taking additional driver training and also provide links to local driving assessment and refresher training. The website also had full advice about the law and health conditions and how drivers can renew their licence.
It also provides help and assistance through the difficult decision to retire from driving and how to adapt to the changes this may bring.
Speaking on behalf of RoSPA their head of road safety Kevin Clinton said: “The older we are, the more experience we have as drivers. This is one of the reasons why older drivers tend to be safer and more considerate drivers. However, our health and fitness often begins to decline as we grow older. Our eyesight, physical condition and reaction times may not be as good as they once were, and we may develop age-related conditions, or be taking medications that can affect our driving.
Many older drivers recognise that their driving ability is changing and alter when and where they drive to compensate – but not all drivers do this. There comes a time when each of us needs to reduce our driving, or even stop altogether. Of course, this is different for each person; there isn’t an age at which we automatically become unsafe to drive.”
All driving licences expire when a driver reaches 70 and at this age you need to renew your licence and then continue to renew it every three years. You are obliged by law to tell the DVLA if you develop a health condition which could affect your driving and this is something that applies to drivers of all ages but is perhaps more applicable to older drivers.
There is a risk of a fine of up to £1000 if you do not tell the DVLA about a medical condition and if you are involved in a collision you are at risk of prosecution as well as invalidating your insurance and being liable for any compensation claims from those involved in the collision with you. It can be hard to accept the changes that come with age but putting safety first is essential when getting behind the wheel.