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Over-65s among the safest motorists

Published on 17 January 2014 02:00 PM

The UK's over-65s represent a growing percentage of the population, and this is also the case on the roads.

Despite certain stereotypes about older drivers, this age group is having the last laugh as new research suggests that over-65s are among the safest motorists on the UK's roads.


The findings of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) report implies that perceptions of a person's driving prowess should be based on a their ability to drive, not their age.

The road safety charity's study suggests that experience on our highways counts for a lot. Typically, older drivers usually travel at safer speeds and allocate more space between them and other motorists.

There are over 7 million drivers over the age of 65 - or nearly a fifth of the motoring population - in the UK today, the IAM found. These statistics come from driving licence data announced by the DVLA last month.

19% of drivers are over 65

They reveal that the amount of drivers over 65 hit 7,191,192 last November - or 19% of all motorists with full driving licences.

There are also 4,068,498 motorists over the age of 70, a total of 1,101,779 drivers over 80, and 195 still behind the wheel in excess of 100 years old.

Of the motorists over 65, just 367,711, or 5%, have points on their licence.

For motorists over 70 the number with points is 195,773 (also 5%), while 35,498 (3%) of drivers over 80 have points.

These figures contrast favourably with middle-aged motorists. The most likely age to have accrued licence points is 42 year-old.

Of the 816,915 licence holders in this age range, 82,929, or 10%, have points.

For younger motorists the statistic stands at 8%, or 270,817 of the 3,339,826 younger licence holders.

The report backs earlier studies, which found that over-65s are safer than several other age groups, the IAM claimed.

With 10% of the population expected to be over-80 by 2024, IAM chief executive Simon Best said: 'Easy access to driving assessments, better advice from the medical profession and car and road designs that mitigate the effects of ageing should all be top priority in 2014.'

In the driving seat

Age UK's guide In the Driving Seat includes information about renewing your licence, declaring health conditions, alternatives to driving and getting out and about.

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, call Age UK Advice free on 0800 169 6565 or download a copy using the link below.

Download In the Driving Seat (PDF 750 KB)

Copyright Press Association 2014

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Last updated: Dec 05 2018

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