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Health not age is key factor when stopping driving

Published on 12 September 2013 11:01 PM

People aged 60 or over are most likely to stop driving because of their health, not because of age.

Only 1% of people aged 60 or over would give up driving because of their age, while 43% of those surveyed would stop driving due to health concerns and 37% due to problems with their eyesight, new research from Age UK finds.


The research also finds that people are more likely to go to their GP (62%) than their friends and family (26%) for advice about stopping driving.

The research is released today to mark the launch of Age UK's free In the Driving Seat guide which offers tips on driving safely for longer and advice on making the decision to stop driving.

Over 60s are active drivers

Two-thirds of drivers aged 60 or over are driving more than five times a week (67%); relying on their car primarily for shopping (87%), visiting friends and family (78%) and getting to the hospital or doctor's surgery (55%).

When asked why they wanted to continue to drive for as long as possible, they said they like being in control of where and when they travel (58%) and that they simply enjoy driving (49%).

Lucy Harmer, Head of Services at Age UK, said: ‘Someone's driving skills can't be judged by the date on their birth certificate and everyone needs to take responsibility for their ability to drive safely, including older people.

‘Driving brings freedom and independence and it is important that people can go on enjoying driving for as long as possible.

‘However, things can change quickly in the motoring world, from new roads and traffic systems to developments in car design. People can change too with some medical conditions affecting driving ability and it can be possible to lose confidence out on the road.

‘This is why we've brought out our new In the driving seat guide which offers support and advice on driving safely whatever your age.'

In the driving seat

Age UK's new In the driving seat guide includes information about renewing your licence, declaring health conditions, alternatives to driving and getting out and about, tips on continuing to drive safely and adaptations that can help with this.

It also explains what to do if you have any concerns about your driving, and how to decide when it's time to stop.

For a free copy of Age UK's In the driving seat guide, call Age UK Advice free on 0800 169 6565 or visit to download a copy.

Living Your Way

In the driving seat is part of Age UK's Living Your Way campaign which helps to give older people choice and control to stay independent for as long as possible through information, advice, practical services and specially designed products.

So whether it's impartial advice on how to claim benefits to help stay independent or a question about adapting the home; or support for a loved one with hearing problems or decreasing mobility - Age UK and its local and national partners are here to help. To find out more about the support the charity can offer and for a free copy of Age UK's Life magazine, call Age UK Advice free on 0800 169 65 65 or visit To make a donation call 0800 169 87 87.

Age UK also offers a range of paid-for products and services tailored to reach the over 50s - including Age UK Car Insurance, provided by Ageas Insurance Limited which 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. For more information, visit or call 0845 602 9143.

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Last updated: Dec 05 2018

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