A website aimed at helping older people adapt to changes in their driving to stay safe on the road, has been launched by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
www.olderdrivers.org.uk has been set up by the safety charity, with funding from the Department for Transport, to provide advice and information for older drivers in a bid to help them to drive safely for longer.
The website gives tips on how people can update their driving skills and knowledge to maintain their freedom and independence on the road, as well as advice for families or friends who are concerned about a loved one’s driving. It will help drivers to:
- recognise whether and how their driving is changing
- find out what they can do to cope with these changes, such as change when and where they drive, adapt their car or take driver assessment or training
- find local driving assessment or refresher training
- understand the law about health conditions and driving and how to renew their driving licence
- plan for the need to change when and where they drive, and if it becomes necessary, to retire from driving.
Kevin Clinton, RoSPA’s head of road safety, 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.
“The aim of the website is to help older people to continue to drive for as long as they are safe to do so, and to provide advice on making the decision to retire from driving if they are no longer able to drive safely.