We urgently need new measures in order to help keep older drivers safe on their journeys.

This is the view of road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist. Their statement follows the publication of a Department for Transport report looking ate older drivers. It concludes that car driver deaths in the 70 to 79 age group are expected to rise by 40% over the next 20 years.

Self reflection

GEM is also keen to remind older motorists of the need to reflect on their own driving. They need to understand where they may be experiencing difficulty, and to know where to get practical advice.

A GEM spokesperson said: “We know a lot about the safety challenges faced by older drivers. These may come from the road layout, the declining flexibility of the driver, changes in the quality of their vision or from taking longer to react to an emerging hazard.

“For example, junctions with sharp angles can prove difficult for drivers with restricted neck movement, so investment is needed to make these junctions safer and easier to negotiate.

“At the same time, self-reflection needs starts with an acceptance that we’re all more vulnerable on the road than we think we are. 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.”

Being heard

Speaking up for older drivers has long been central to GEM’s long-term road safety commitment. The organisation’s ‘Still Safe to Drive’ resource offers a line-up of informative videos, presented by Valerie Singleton OBE.

Additionally, GEM is also part of a consortium examining ways of developing a new older driver assessment. This will be based on nationally-agreed standards.

GEM’s safety tips for senior drivers

  • Get fit and stay fit. If possible, do some exercise for 15 to 20 minutes each day.
  • Get a regular eye test. This allows early detection of possible problems.
  • Make sure the car you drive best suits your current needs.
  • Adapt your driving to avoid journeys that cause you stress or discomfort.
  • Reflect on your driving, learn from your mistakes and near misses. Don’t pretend they’re not happening.
  • Plan your journeys to avoid using the roads at really busy times and build in plenty of breaks on longer journeys.


You can read the report here.