Older Drivers fit, healthy and determined to keep driving for at least the next 12 years

New research from IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, reveals that motorists over the age of 60 intend to drive for as long as they are safe to do so, and that the average age they would consider giving up their licence is 82.

With a grant from the Department for Transport, IAM RoadSmart recruited Dr Carol Hawley from the University of Warwick to produce an update on Keeping Older Drivers Safe and Mobile: A Survey of Older Drivers, first published in 2015.

The new report details the findings from surveying over 3,000 respondents aged 60 plus from across the UK, and highlights that older drivers value their cars to maintain independence and want to stay mobile for as long as possible while they are safe and able to do so.

Neil Greig, Policy & Research Director from IAM RoadSmart, commented: “There are over 12.1 million drivers of 60+ according to the report. With many being healthy, fit and with over 40 years’ experience and knowledge, why shouldn’t they continue to drive?”

Dr Carol Hawley, author of the report said: “We recommend the Government should conduct a comprehensive review of the driver licensing and testing system in relation to the ever-growing number of drivers over the age of 70 and beyond. We need to ensure that those who are healthy, fit, and capable remain safely on the roads. Currently in the UK, the only safety requirement for mature drivers is to renew their driving licence at the age of 70 by confirming to the DVLA that they have no medical issues.”

Overall drivers, asked in the survey, expected to continue driving for an average of 12.3 years. The average age at which people think they will give up driving was 82. For drivers aged under 70 the average age for giving up was 79.4 and for drivers aged 70 and over the age of giving up was 85.3.

The oldest valid licences are held by two men aged 107 and the oldest female is 106.

There are 612,908 69-year-olds who will need to sign the self-declaration to say they are fit and healthy to continue the renewal of their driving licences next year. The over 70’s make up 13% of all licence holders.