Are we being unfair in our attitudes to ‘older drivers’? Are they a risk?
Just like young drivers, senior motorists often suffer from the perception that they are a risk on the road.
But it can be argued many of them are far better than those who criticise because they have acquired so many skills and experiences over decades behind the wheel.
Of course, there is always room to improve.
If we are being truthful, we have all acquired driving habits over the years that may not be the best.
But it is never too late to change.
However, that means clinically assessing our own standards of driving – and that goes for all ages.
The experts say you can stay safer for longer if you re-examine your driving and are honest about areas you find increasingly difficult.
These include reversing and/or engaging a roundabout which seem to challenge lots of people.
The issue of ‘senior’ driving is being raised by road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist from the UK. They stress reaching a certain age does not automatically mean a total loss of your ability to drive, judge distances or read road signs, for example.
Critically they emphasise how ageing can affect people in different ways and at different stages in their lives. I think that senior drivers can impart a lot of advice and example to younger drivers so there can be loads of beneficial interchange.
GEM points out: “Popular opinion too often suggests that older drivers are a menace and should undergo mandatory re-tests – or be purged from the highway.”
But, they insist, we should be keen to encourage them to be mobile for as long as they are ‘safe’.
A key point is that we’re all more vulnerable on the road than perhaps we think we are.
Here are core tips for staying safe behind the wheel regardless of age:
* Get and stay fit.
* Get a regular eye test.
* Make sure your car suits you.
* Plan your journeys to avoid busy times.
* Build in plenty of breaks on longer journeys.
Are you a senior driver and what do you do to keep safe? Do you feel there is a negative bias from other drivers?