Have Your Say - Should Driving Re-Tests Be Made Obligatory at 70?

The media often pick up this subject and we're led to believe that older drivers are problematic and dangerous.

However, it seems that the reality is somewhat different in fact according to research done back in 2016 at the University of Swansea, the data on vehicle accidents showed that drivers aged 70 are involved in 3-4 times fewer accidents than 17-21 year old men.  Evidence suggests that whilst they are not the most dangerous group there are issues that should be addressed.

The study showed that older drivers tended to make mistakes when they felt under pressure from other road users, the increase in accidents due to physical frailty and illness and also new car technology. The issue needs to be addressed and looked at in its widest context.

Driving for many older people is their lifeline to the outside world without which their quality of life would be severely restricted, many describe the thought akin to 'losing a limb'. This loss of independence can have greater knock-on effects on the individual's mental wellbeing.

Professor Musselwhite, associate professor of gerontology at Swansea University's Centre for Innovative Ageing, insists that denying older people a licence should not be taken lightly and that even that re-testing older drivers may not be the solution.

Retest programmes have been conducted in other countries like Australia and Denmark without improving results.

Whilst we are obliged to renew our driving licence at the age of 70 we are not obliged to retest. Surely as we are all living longer and driving further in much more powerful cars we should be required to retest for the safety of ourselves and others? Or is it simply more bureaucracy we simply don't need in our society? (let us know your thoughts in the comments section below)

Whilst, many people self regulate and simply listen to advice from friends, family and their GP there is help at hand; If you are in doubt always seek advice.

The Older Drivers website is a great place to start not only will it give you all the info you need they will help you stay driving safely for longer.

If you have been recently diagnosed with a condition but unsure as to whether or not you should inform the DVLA this website will help

'Check if a health condition affects your driving'

Other helpful links;

How To Help Your Older Driver 

Renew Your Driving Licence If You're Over 70

Refresher Driving Courses

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11 comments

Larry Bath

With age comes experience and the evidence is that older drivers are more careful and have less accidents. Even considering an arbitrary re-test at the age of 70 is pure ageism without any consideration of the facts, a lamentable point of view.
Hopefully this is just another example of “ fake news”

David Tipping

In 68 now and am x better driver than when I was in my 20s,may be years ago older drivers were dangerous but nowadays we are living longer,and keeping our skills longer

Liz Arndell

I live in Spain where we are required to take a test on a simulator and have an eye test and medical every 2 years after 70 and every year after 80. As we holiday in France towing a caravan and driving back to the UK once a year I think it’s a good idea to have these tests. You cannot get a driving licence without passing the test.

Liz Arndell

I live in Spain where we are required to take a test on a simulator and have an eye test and medical every 2 years after 70 and every year after 80. As we holiday in France towing a caravan and driving back to the UK once a year I think it’s a good idea to have these tests. You cannot get a driving licence without passing the test.

Dave

No re testing for over 70’s but a medical and eyesight test should be taken every year for them, Generally they are very good drivers but there comes a point when poor eyesight and health comes into play.

jan

i dont see why older drivers shoud retest at 70 many of them are more carefull and their driving is better than some of the 17/25 yer olds some girls are as bad when they have their mates in the car they dont think of other road users so no dont pick on us older drivers

r gazeley

no we are more competent and careful than all these boy racers and illegal drivers sort them out and these idiots riding on motor bikes and that are illegal

peter lacy

Not without good reason. I see many, many instances of bad driving by people much younger. Will you re-test them.

carol booth

no certainly not i am a careful driver,i only use my car,when i need to shopping going to gym,or travelling for a bit of retail therapy.I am always carefull watch the speed limit.so no.

Barry Terry

No, should endeavour to remove uninsured and illegal drivers off the road, along with unsafe large lorries and also make sure delivery van drivers take a safety test knowing the stopping distance of loaded vans,especially supermarket home deliveries.

William Mason

We are expected to work to the age of 70. Why do we suddenly become infirm and unable to drive. Eye test yes every five years. But no retest. If the government want a retest it should be FREE not just a money maker for them

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