Monday 24th September 2012
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With people living longer these days we can surely expect more elderly people to be driving on the UK roads. In fact, the driving figures for those over seventy years of age are set to more than double.

In reality, the younger drivers are much less careful. However, as a person ages, they often gradually modify their driving styles to accommodate being more cautious.

The more seasoned driver is usually extra careful and has more years of motoring experience behind them. So, the question is who would you rather sit behind? A young new motorist or an elderly more experienced motorist.

Proven statistics in the UK, suggest that younger drivers are more prone to accidents than the elderly. For instance, not all young drivers like to drink alcohol, but there are some that do.

Youngsters often drink during the week quite heavily in the evenings even venturing out to pubs and clubs; hence, they are more likely to be intoxicated in the morning whilst driving to work.

Insurance companies are aware who causes the most accidents. A young person's car insurance can be triple compared to a seventy-year old. The elderly do have cheaper insurance partly because of their built up no claims bonuses, and for their better awareness when driving. But, do you feel that elderly drivers could still be as alert? Or would you give a maximum driving age? Do you know anybody who is driving in their 90's for example?

Mature drivers can become more thoughtful and considerate on the road. Nonetheless, sometimes they can lose their confidence which results in accidents. Often though, elderly drivers are aware of their lack of confidence on the road. To compensate for this, they will avoid busy roads, junctions and motorways.

The elderly need their own transportation just as much as the younger generation does. It is true, public transport has improved over the years, but it can still be difficult to make journeys. In the UK, we have to face the treacherous weather, urban and rural areas, hills, shopping in other towns, in addition to constantly experiencing delays with buses and trains.

I guess a large attraction for elderly drivers is the ability of keeping their freedom on the roads. Even when tempted with a free bus pass many will still opt for the car.

Some elderly drivers are excellent drivers; they can commute better than many youngsters. However, the debate is when people age, are they more likely to suffer sight and hearing impairments. Other ageing health issues can also be the culprit of slow judgement and reflexes when driving.

Let us know what you think about this article. Should the elderly sit a retest, should they have a health check up or, should the DVLA do nothing? We invite you to share your thoughts.

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