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15 Mar 2010

There are two different ways of looking at new poll findings announced this week by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) – apparently three in four people (73 per cent) would not hesitate to report elderly friends or relatives if they felt their driving was not up to scratch.

Grassing up Granddad or protecting him from a potentially fatal accident? Of course many older people are highly competent drivers – with decades of road experience behind them. It is also true that accelerator-happy young males are far more likely to be involved in accidents than older motorists.

But the years catch up with everyone and after a certain number of birthdays, older motorists are more likely to suffer from impaired hearing or vision, have slower reactions or other ailments which might make them a danger to themselves or others on the road.

An online poll conducted by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) also found that 68 per cent of people think roads would be made safer by the introduction of a mandatory test for drivers over 70 years old.

That’s pretty unlikely to happen – it would be a logistical nightmare, not to mention a significant financial imposition on the limited budgets of retirees.  Many would need to take lessons to practice test manoeuvres they may not have carried out in the required way since they passed their test however many years before.

But the Government does require all motorists aged 70 or over to officially renew their licence every three years and to declare any medical conditions likely to affect their driving. But does every pension-drawing motorist do so religiously and honestly? It’s unlikely.

Stuck in traffic?  Burning fuel?  Visit our Fuel Card website to see how you could save money on your next journey with a fuel card.


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