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Dangers of aged car drivers

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Gromit | 13:30 Sat 11th Aug 2012 | News
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// A judge has urged relatives of elderly drivers to think “very, very carefully” whether they should still be on the road after a 90-year-old retired GP killed another motorist in a head-on collision while on the wrong side of a dual carriageway. //


Should compulsary re-tests be introduced at for example 70?


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I think that one of the issues internationally is the rise of the aged proportion of the population in the mature economies and how this translates to accident rates - one of the things being the vulnerability of the older driver to serious injury.

Seems to be a common concern in the States, Oz and Canada for example. One would have thought that the lower mileage of the elderly would have reduced the risk, but then 70% of accidents happen at <30mph, so maybe exposure to mileage is a non sequitur.
I have to say, I'm a little sceptical of the idea of compulsory re-testing at 70. The implication is that if that 90-year-old had had another test, then that motorist would not have been killed.

Tragic as any death is, how is it possible to say so? The driver in question appears to have killed the poor motorist because he was suffering from dementia and had poor eyesight - not merely because he was old. Under Gromit's suggestion, the 90-year-old driver could have past his test at 70 and been driving quite happily for 20 years until his apparently recent diagnoses. Even to the best of drivers, accidents happen all the time. And 70 is a fairly arbitrary cut-off point - I fail to see why a 70 year old, say, is more dangerous than a 69 year old, or a 65 year old, etc.

It makes far more sense to have some kind of measure (I don't know what) for preventing people from driving after they have been diagnosed with dementia/eyesight problems/anything else which severely impairs driving. A compulsory re-test at 70 just seems wasteful.

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