A new video, launched this week by Driving Mobility, aims to help older drivers stay safe at the wheel for as long as possible.
The launch follows Monday’s presentation and safety recommendations to the House of Commons by the Older Drivers Task Force.
The new video, produced with funding from the GEM Motoring Assist Road Safety Charity, follows a senior driver through the initial consultation and pre-drive assessment and out onto the road, where he drives a pre-arranged route covering various road types. It also sets out the ways in which the Driving Mobility centres across the UK can assess someone’s fitness to drive, as well as addressing any issues that might put someone at higher risk of a collision.
Ed Passant, chief executive of Driving Mobility, said the video gave a clear picture of what an older driver could expect from an assessment. “Drivers will know exactly what to expect when visiting any of our 16 centres, and I believe the video ably demonstrates our primary purpose, which is to support people to stay driving safely for as long as possible.”
Identifying individual issues and needs is key to keeping an older motorist safe, according to Sergeant Rob Heard of Hampshire Police, who established the award-winning Older Drivers Forum in 2013. It’s also vital that drivers – and their loved ones – are aware of the resources available to help them.
“This video is designed to provide useful information for drivers who need to attend an assessment at a driving mobility centre,” Rob Heard explains. “At the same time it should help drivers put aside any worries they may have about the assessment and what will be expected of them.
“Some drivers keen to ensure they remain as safe as possible will book and pay for an assessment themselves; others may attend following a referral from a doctor, other health professional or the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
“We’re keen to show that a driver assessment is not something to be dreaded, and in the majority of cases is a very positive and worthwhile exercise, where any safety issues can be resolved. Sometimes further tuition will be recommended, and very occasionally – because of safety concerns – it might be necessary to advise against further driving. But the aim, wherever possible, is to keep people driving safer for longer.”
Neil Worth, road safety officer for GEM Motoring Assist, says the video does an excellent job in reducing any anxiety a senior motorist may be feeling before attending this type of assessment. “If there were evidence that older drivers were more likely to cause collisions, then the Government would have restricted their licences or insisted on compulsory re-training by now.
“There is no evidence of this, however we do know that older drivers can struggle in situations where they have to make quick decisions, or where their ability to see all round is restricted. We also know that any injuries suffered by an older person in a collision will be more serious, simply because of increasing frailty.
“There are many solutions to these difficulties, not all of them appropriate for every driver. That’s why Driving Mobility centre assessments, with their focus on the needs of individual senior drivers, are true road safety winners. Thanks to this new video, any concerns that might go with such an assessment are sure to be greatly reduced.”