Have Your Say - Driving Tests for Older Drivers: Yes or No?

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 is a Lifeline for Older Drivers 

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.

Highway Code Updates 2022

The updates to the Highway Code that were issued early in 2022 went largely unnoticed by many. Unfortunately, this isn’t the fault of the public, young or old, but more so the government for not highlighting the changes more thoroughly.

For many of us that intend to continue driving whilst we feel it is safe to do so it is crucial that we are kept up to date with these changes. If the government were to bring in driver assessments at your local test centre, how would you get on? It is certain that without the updated knowledge a practical driving test would be out of the question and so to would your likelihood of passing a theory test.   

Don’t Wait for the Government to Tell You What To Do

For many of us from an older generation we pride ourselves on our common sense and practicality, two virtues seemingly lacking in younger generations, apparently.

Surely, we agree that it’s our civic duty to continue safe driving, so if we are concerned about our eyesight or our reaction times go and get it checked out. Afterall it’s too late after you’ve had an accident.

At worse you might have to make some changes in your lifestyle but at best you might just save someone’s life!    

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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Driving Highway code (CC BY 2.0) mikeyashworth

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26 comments

Pamela Millman

No I don’t think they need to, but I do think an eyesight test is necessary. I am over 70 and a few of my friends (not all) have deteriorating eyesight.

ALAN HORNE

I past my driving test when I joined the Army in a 3 Ton truck we used to take 3 separate tests before we got to the civilian test and you had to pass each one before moving to the next, since I left the army I have all types of vehicles mainly articulated wagons now I’m 84yrs old I still drive but when I see some of the driving these days I think they get there licence out of the Cornflake packet in a morning.

Mr cullen

Don’t blame older drivers start by making the age to drive a vehicle to 25 years old and then hope they have acquired some sort of sense in the knowledge of what they are learning is a fkin killing machine in idiots hands this world is run by to many goody goodys time to change some laws

Dodd Ronald

No not without a good reason I also think it’s discrimination to pick in then.

Alun Palmer

People who retire drive fewer miles, and driving for all those years must teach us something. I am against re-testing based only on age. As for that person who talked about ‘idiots on motorbikes’, it has been proven that at least two thirds of motorbike accidents are the fault of a car driver.

Mike Hicks

Driven most of my working life,all over Europe and the USA, I’m 73 now and as far as I’m concerned it’s the younger ones that need to be tested, I have an eye test every year and I’m sure family would tell me if I need to give up driving.M Hicks

Christopher evans

I was a professional driver for more than forty years doing continental tours and such,since I have retired I’ve got more time to drive to my destination and consider my driving better than over 95% of others on our roads especially taxi drivers and young drivers with less than five years experience Evan though I am 75 years old I’m ready to take any test and will challenge a lot of the younger drivers who say the old should be retested to any retest with them on problem

Robert

If young drivers are safer then why are the insurance premiums so high? I think the insurance companies know better.

Robert

If young drivers are safer then why are the insurance premiums so high? I think the insurance companies know better.

Lynn Howarth

I do not know how some of these young drivers ever passed their test. Perhaps the standards have dropped like most other things these days.

Geoffrey Bond

No. The roads are full of boy and girl racers who don’t indicate or stop at roundabouts and cut people up. Steady and safe is why 70 year olds don’t need tests. But these racers should be made to retest

Susan

Yes over 75 should be tested every year

Mj Ebdell

No. But a regular medical would be a good idea.

David Tennant

Older Drivers tend to be more cautious and are rarely seen using a phone in the car. They also own their own car and are therefore more careful than drivers of company cars. The two more dangerous classes are Young Drivers and Drivers distracted by using a Mobile Phone (even in the hands free mode).

David Tennant

NO to retest! Like many oldies we drive fewer miles every year but when we do its a lifeline.
Its not just youngsters who are more dangerous, people in company cars are the worst and the most overconfident. And when did you last see an oldie glued to a phone while driving?

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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