Drivers Demand ‘E’ Plates and Test Retakes at 75
One in seven drivers now think pensioners should display an 'E' plate on their car to show they are an elderly driver, according to a new study
Research carried out since Prince Philip’s high-profile crash shows people are increasingly concerned about the safety of older drivers and 42 per cent think they should have to retake their test when they reach 75.
Researchers even found that 14 per cent say that once drivers hit 65 they shouldn’t be allowed to drive larger vehicles like 4x4s and SUVs, and should be restricted to smaller cars so they do less damage if they crash.
In addition, the study by Privilege Car Insurance found that one in five (21 per cent) felt all motorists over 65 should now be required to have a black box fitted to their car to monitor their driving.
Over a third (36 per cent) thought elderly drivers were a higher risk due to poor eyesight, while a diminished ability to think quickly (34 per cent) and a decline in spatial awareness (30 per cent) were also felt to be true of drivers over the age of 65.
The Privilege Car Insurance study also found that drivers aged under 20 and those over 70 are regarded as the most dangerous on the road.
Indeed, two thirds (65 per cent) of us now believe motorists aged 70 and over are typically ‘dangerous’ or ‘very dangerous’.
However, the truth of the matter may, in fact, be rather different.
While 16 per cent of drivers under the age of 34 say they have had an accident in the past three years, just 5 per cent of over-55s say the same.
Perhaps buoyed by this fact, older drivers weren’t shy in sticking up for themselves, with three quarters (77 per cent) stating young drivers were dangerous or very dangerous on the road, and over half (54 per cent) complaining the youngsters listen to music too loudly when driving.
Four in ten older drivers (40 per cent) even thought their younger counterparts should have a telematics box fitted to monitor their driving, a fact that one in five (19 per cent) young drivers actually agreed with.
The research into how we view other road users indicates that we are most fearful of those in the biggest and smallest cars.
More than a third (35 per cent) believes those in small hatchbacks, such as Fiestas and Polos, tend to be dangerous and 34 per cent are wary of SUVs and 4x4s.
In contrast, a mere 13 per cent believe drivers of family hatchbacks, such as a VW Golf, are dangerous and those behind the wheel of an estate are considered the safest (just 5 per cent).
It seems we’re also fearful of smokers, with 65 per cent of drivers believing those that smoke or vape to be a danger to other road users, however, we relax when we see dogs, with one in four drivers (23 per cent) thinking a dog in a boot makes for a safer driver.
Charlotte Fielding, head of Privilege Car Insurance said, “We all have opinions about who the safest drivers on the road are, but they might not always be justified.
“Interestingly, both older and younger drivers recommended telematics black boxes for each other to make them safer. At Privilege, inexperienced drivers can save a significant amount of money by having one of our telematics plug-ins installed, and there are no curfews restricting their freedom to drive.”