Age is no obstacle to driving confidence
Published on 17 May 2013 11:00 AM
New research from Age UK Enterprises has found that 8.5 million (89%) over-65s are taking to the roads at least once every 2 days, with almost two thirds (63%) feeling very confident in their own driving abilities.
Over-65s are not just confident road users, they also display a range of responsible driving behaviours. Over 8 in 10 (85%) say they always use their rear-view and wing mirrors in comparison to 74% of all other age groups. Furthermore nearly three quarters (73%) of over-65s always check their blind spot compared to 66% of all other age groups.
Older drivers are also less likely to engage in distracting behaviours when behind the wheel with just 7% admitting to using a mobile phone while driving, against 21% of all other ages, and less than 1 in 5 (18%) drinking tea or coffee on the move.
Older people are not nervous drivers, research suggests
This latest research also challenges the stereotype of older drivers being slow, nervous or dangerous drivers. Just 29% of over-65s say they feel nervous when driving in rush hour in comparison to 31% of all other age groups. As little as a quarter (26%) are nervous driving in unfamiliar places which is far less than all other age groups (37%).
Encouragingly, older drivers are also ensuring that they are in tip top condition with almost half (49%) having an eye test once a year compared to 29% of all other age groups.
Gordon Morris, Managing Director of Age UK Enterprises said: 'We have over 90,000 car insurance customers and we know that older drivers are, on the whole, confident and responsible drivers, comparing favourably with other drivers across the country. We would like to see the insurance industry taking this on board and basing insurance premiums on ability and not on the false assumption that age equals poorer driving.
'There should be no upper age limit on getting car insurance and an understanding that older drivers use their cars regularly, and responsibly, and should not be forced into giving up driving. Many older drivers are drawing on years of experience behind the wheel and are reliant on their vehicles to maintain their independence and should be enabled to continue.'
Free advice for older drivers
For anyone wanting more information on how to continue driving safely Age UK Information & Advice has produced a new guide called In the driving seat (PDF, 757kb) designed to help older people stay driving for longer that touches on many of the issues raised by this research.
Age UK Car Insurance, provided by Ageas Insurance Limited, is designed to meet the needs of those in later life, offer value for money and excellent customer service. It has no upper age limit, no hidden fees for policy changes and offers a no claims discount option.
Customers can pay by monthly instalment at no extra cost 0% APR Representative. In the event of an accident, a message relay service is also available meaning a friend or relative can be contacted so they are aware of the customer's situation.