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Accordingly to a recent study undertaken by Auto Trader, three out of five motorists believe that older drivers should be made to resit their driving test when they reach 66 years of age. But what do you think?
It’s hard to form a solid opinion when you’re not fully aware of all the information related to this topic. So, in the hope to clear a few things up and help you make your own judgement call (which could later help form new laws on the matter) we’ve put together an information guide, laying out the risks and the current rules and regulations, teamed with some advice along the way.
The Current Law
The current law states that you must renew your driving licence every three years after you turn 70, but there is not an age limit or law against when you must stop driving. However, it is important to note that ‘renewing’ a driving licence is not the same as ‘resitting’ a driving test and therefore this currently leaves room for some risks.
The Law on Medical Conditions
The law does consider medical conditions in relation to road safety and therefore requires every driver to notify them of any medical conditions that may affect their ability to drive. As it currently stands, if you are involved in a traffic accident where your health condition may have been a factor, you could be prosecuted and the insurance policy may not cover you.
Eyesight and Driving Rules
There are also laws that make it illegal to drive if you cannot read a number plate from 20 metres away, so if you need glasses or special contact lenses to see this far be sure to wear them each and every time you drive.
Factors To Consider
Getting old is a fact of life and although it can be very hard to accept for many, we must not let emotional factors sway our opinion on road safety in the UK. As we age, some of the skills we once had (that are vital to safe driving) can deteriorate, such as eyesight, movement and reaction times.
The chances of you stopping driving due to having poor or extremely bad eyesight are high, but if there is no sudden change in your health it can be difficult to determine when you should stop driving. Rather than waiting for individuals to self-evaluate their situation, the compulsory resitting of driving tests for elders is a common suggestion for making our roads safer to use.
Ability to Adapt for Disabilities
Just because you may be suffering from reduced mobility, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be automatically stopped from driving. Recognising your disability means that you open up the chance to have your car or vehicle adapted. This could involve having a ramp or lift fitted, or interior modifications made to make you more comfortable.
With all this in mind, where would you place your vote if you were asked as part of the next survey? Should older drivers resit their driving test at a certain age or do you think the law should be left alone? Use the comments section to have your say!