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Older drivers 'no worse' than youngsters - study

Published on 03 April 2012 12:30 PM

A new report suggests that the mortality rate of older drivers in road accidents is higher simply because their chances of surviving serious injuries are less than younger motorists - not because they are bad drivers.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal said it is a misconception that drivers of the older generation are killed in car crashes because they are worse at handling the wheel than younger road users.

It adds that the crash rate is also higher for that age group because they often drive within urban areas which has more junctions.

Dr Ezra Hauer, professor emeritus of the department of civil engineering at the University of Toronto, said: 'Frailty as a cause of over-representation should not be confused with the ability to drive safely.'

He said that as a result, a large number of crashes involving older people end up in the official figures.

'This too contributes to the appearance of over representation and has nothing to do with the ability to drive safely,' he said.

Gordon Morris, managing director at Age UK Enterprises, commented: 'We believe that people should be able to drive no matter what age they are, including and above the age of 100 years - ability is what matters.

'For many older people driving is a way of remaining independent and mobile. This is why it's so important that there are products like Age UK Car insurance, which have no upper age limit.'

Copyright Press Association 2012

Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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