Over 80s are safer drivers than we realise

DVLA figures show that there are now more than one million drivers over 80 and it is the one age group (between 80 to 90 years) where the number of women drivers outstrips men by nearly 2:1 (662k women vs 351k men).

Which may go some way to explain why, contrary to common assumptions that the older you are the worse you drive, motorists in their eighties are NOT dangerous, according to the IAM who has analysed the Department for Transport’s ‘Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: 2010’ statistics as well as the DVLA’s licensing statistics by age. I say that because all the evidence there is confirms that women, in the main, are safer drivers than men in terms of severity of accidents.

Believe it or not, the figures show that this 80-90 years old age group is much safer than their more youthful counterparts. In fact the rate of deaths and serious injuries in crashes among drivers over 80 is three times less than the rate for those aged 17-19 years. In 2010 almost one young driver aged 17-19 was killed or seriously injured per thousand licence holders.

The rate of deaths and serious injuries in crashes among car drivers aged 20 to 24 is 36.4 per cent more than the rate for drivers aged 80 or over.

However, drivers over the age of 80 are more likely to suffer serious injuries in a car crash due to their frailty.

IAM chief executive Simon Best explained: “Older people need their cars which give them better mobility and access to more activities and services. Those who wish to continue driving beyond the age of 70 should only be prevented from doing so if there are compelling reasons. Rather than seeking to prevent older people from driving, we should make them more aware of the risks they face, and offer them driving assessments to help them eliminate bad habits. Driving helps older people play a full and active part in society.”

The number of older drivers will continue to rise as the Office of National Statistics predicts that there will be 8.7 million people over the age of 75 by 2033.


NB: In 2006 young male drivers were responsible for 66 per cent of KSI (Killed &/or Serious Injuries) and 74% of fatalities. FOXY Lady Drivers Club believes this makes a mockery of the EU ruling that motor insurance premiums for this male age group are to be reduced this December and young women expected to pay more for their car insurance to pay for male-caused accidents, under guise of ‘equality.’ Rest assured this will also feather the nest of insurers which is why we’ve heard no protests at all from them. We thought insurers underwrote risk not their own profits…