Three keys to safer senior driving
Older drivers can stay safer n the road for longer by reflecting on their driving and being honest about the tasks they are starting to find more difficult. The support of family members can also be helpful – so long as any tricky conversations are approached with tact and sensitivity.
That’s according to road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist, whose Still Safe to Drive resource (stillsafetodrive.org.uk) offers a range of informative videos, presented by Valerie Singleton OBE. There are links to many organisations who offer specific assistance for senior drivers, as well as some good tips for staying safe behind the wheel:
“Reaching a certain age does not automatically mean a complete loss of your ability to drive, judge distances and read road signs,” GEM Road Safety Officer Neil Worth said. “The process of ageing is different for every single person. That’s why senior drivers should reflect on their own driving, understand where they may be experiencing difficulty and find out where they can get practical advice.
Popular opinion too often suggests that older drivers are a menace and should take mandatory re-tests – or be purged from the highway. However, GEM is keen to encourage senior drivers to stay mobile as long as they are safe, while ensuring they remain physically and mentally comfortable with the driving task.
“Self-reflection starts with an acceptance that we’re all more vulnerable on the road than we think we are,” Neil Worth added. “It includes a willingness to recognise the situations that may lead to increased risk, and to ask where, when and why they occur. Learning from those situations, perhaps with some expert help, is a good way for a senior driver to stay as safe as possible for as long as possible.”