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Time for action on older drivers, says motoring group
12:51pm Wednesday 26th March 2014 in News
FAMILIES in the North West who are concerned about the driving ability of an elderly relative never do anything about it, a new survey has shown.
The poll was carried out for the Institute of Advanced Motorists, who are now calling on the Government to introduce a national strategy of driving health checks.
And with more than 4m drivers aged over 70 - set to rise to 5.8m by 2032 - the IAM says the problem is not going away.
The institute's demand came as the survey showed that across the region, 54% of us are worried about an elderly relative driving - yet are unlikely to do anything about it.
And when families do talk to relatives about their driving, it does not always go down well.
Of those that had done, this 45% met with a negative reaction.
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Talking to an elderly relative about their driving is a difficult conversation to have.
“Driving is associated with independence, so giving up the car keys can be a very stressful process.
“This is especially true for drivers with dementia as they often underestimate the impact of the condition on their driving skills.
“Voluntary online and on road driving assessments will provide an unbiased view and help everyone make the right decision at the right time. “
"We are finding while there are some elderly drivers who should not be on the road, most get it right and as many as 15% give up too early.
“But with ever increasing numbers of elderly drivers, this is a growing mobility and road safety issue that won’t go away. The Government needs to act now.”
The IAM wants:
• A Government action plan for older drivers.
• Widespread availability of voluntary on-road driving assessments.
• More car manufacturers considering older drivers in vehicle design.
• Better information and online assessment for older drivers, families and health professionals.
• Road designs that make it easier for older motorists to keep driving.
The survey was undertaken by the Vision Critical company.
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