Elderly Drivers, Should They Be Retested?

In the last five years driving accidents involving drivers over 75 have increased by 5% which is twice the national average. While accidents involving young drivers is still higher, it’s decreasing annually. After the age of 85 drivers in NSW have to undergo a practical driving assessment every two years, but is that enough LiveTribers? Should all drivers be regularly retested? Are elderly drivers a danger on the road? What do you think?

Posted by on 03 Sep 2020

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    It doesn't hurt to be retested, at least for ones own peace of mind. I have been hit four times in the last 5 years, twice in the rear when sitting at traffic lights, once in the rear while backing out of a parking spot ( I saw her in my rear vision mirror and I had actually stopped but she kept coming) and once when a woman side swiped me. Two of them were not insured, all of them were young. There is a distinct lack of courtesy on the road, with a "Me First" attitude. Slow down drivers! Have some respect! Keep up with the road rules! Maybe mandatory testing, every five years or so, would be a good idea just to keep on top of it . Many drivers are not up to scratch with the rules. Maybe the government could introduce a program, at no charge, with written handouts and question and answer refresher lessons to keep everyone up to date. Speed, impatience and lack of respect are a big problem on the roads and the cause of many accidents. The elderly might not be as quick or alert at times but they are generally cautious and respectful of other drivers which I think is often sadly lacking with some younger drivers.

    Posted by Annbee on 13 Sep 2020

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    Yes most definitely, driving is all about how quick and alert you are you must be able to react in a situation either to avoid an accident or even a pedestrian or just getting through traffic conditions that are not good.. how aware, alert and how quickly you are able to respond could be the difference between your life or someone else’s! Its not about how long you have been driving or how long you have held a licence it’s about the quality of your driving skills and like everything else in life unfortunately with age your skills reaction time and awareness are pretty much so halved and that makes you dangerous on the road... if you have driven for 50yrs that’s great but your strength, alertness and health over that 50yrs has not gotten better it’s the same as being under the influence only it’s under the influence of age...

    Posted by Stang66 on 06 Sep 2020

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    I have had more problems with middle-aged and younger drivers than elderly, i have been driving for 21yrs on full license, i remember when i was learning to drive a man was so impatient with me he over took me in a roundabout and he was not elderly, when i had my full license i was doing the speed limit and a younger man was again so impatient he was right behind my car flashing his lights and over took me on the wrong side of the road abusing me as he drove past, i have had young kids on moter cycles ride on the wrong side of the road straight towards my car and also cut out infront of me, i have had truck drivers cut me off while changing lanes, i have had an accident because of people not paying attention to road rules and they were not elderly, through my driving history i had one insident where an elderly driver was not driving properly but being a coutious driver i stayed clear of that driver and reported his driving to authorities if it had been someone younger i would have done the same but that was one older driver in the 21years i have been driving. All other problems where and could have been life threatening and life changing for myself and the other drivers and riders on the road.

    Posted by Rachel on 05 Sep 2020

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    Elderly drivers should have access to driving simulators and games that improve perception , judgement and physical reaction times. In this way they can improve road knowledge ,safety, awarenesss and road agility. And so update a driving test successfully and for more years. Younger drivers could retest every five or ten years.

    Posted by Paul on 05 Sep 2020

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    Let's face it , we have an ageing population , and to have the right to be able to drive and also maintain their independence , is a big issue . I don't believe that people that have paid taxes all their lives , are entitled to government funded taxi services . The taxes that have been paid are for the national economy and infrastructure , it's not a super fund . I note that many accidents by the elderly are generally in car parks . The cars that are currently available come with a variety of safety features which should minimise driver errors .

    Posted by robert on 04 Sep 2020

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    The Elderly have one important issue in their retirement and that is to try and stay healthy and independent as long as possible. Should any retiree choose to stop driving they should have access to unlimited free taxi services paid for by the government. They have worked and paid taxes all their life and they should be respected and looked after. Anything to make it easier for the elderly because we will ALL be their ourselves one day.

    Posted by Jeffrey on 04 Sep 2020

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    Most councils offer a taxi service to the local supermarkets - pick up and return for under $5 but you do not have a choice of day and I am not sure about time. I think everyone forgets the elderly worked for 50-60 years, paid taxes on everything including wages over that period of time. These younger ones have hardly contributed as yet but feel they have the right to everything and the elderly not.

    Posted by coaster on 05 Sep 2020

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    As society ages the rate will increase. Most of the elderlys GPs keep an eye on their visual ,acoustic and cognitive abilities we do not need another layer of officialdom to stress the elderly!

    Posted by mact on 04 Sep 2020

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    I also think the younger ones are doing more damage on our roads. However, it seems we elders are not respected in any shape or form these days. It seems we are expendable. Even politicians seem to think so. A disgrace.

    Posted by coaster on 05 Sep 2020

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    I think a lot of people are forgetting that our population has increased tremendously in the older age group--therefore-- there will of course be more accidents. It would be much better to have a severe "crush the car" penalty on those idiots who drink too much or are on what they believe is safe drug use. I know there will be some elderly people who crash their car, usually when they are reversing or going to start off., Maybe the car manufacturers could look for some way to stop that from happening like a warning coming up on the dashboard or an audible warning?

    Posted by esoxlucius on 04 Sep 2020

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    I agree, the hoons, drug and drink drivers should lose their cars, license and if damages of death etc. is incurred stronger penalties than a slap across the wrist. I think most accidents with the elderly are light weight albeit some are a bit more serious but in comparison to other age groups insignificant in numbers. There are cars with beepers that warn one when you are getting too close to a car etc. already on the market but you can purchase this item and have installed anyway.

    Posted by coaster on 05 Sep 2020

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    Many elderly drivers are excellent drivers because of their lifetime experience but certain elderly drivers due to age related ailments cause accidents sometimes so it is better they are retested regularly to be at the safer side.

    Posted by Rani on 04 Sep 2020

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    I think you will find most elderly people do and then of course their family have to be aware if there are any problems with them and tell them. Most elderly have to have medical tests after a certain age to allow a renewal of their licence

    Posted by coaster on 05 Sep 2020

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    Many elderly drivers are good drivers but there are some even I raise my eyebrows at and think NAH, it is time. I guess one has to realise they are taking away a persons independence but that has to be outweighed by the dangers of poor driving skills of an elderly person. I think family members need to stand up and say OK time to hand the keys in. However, to me the worse drivers on the road are the younger ones. They drive fast and without many considerations to other road users and don't get me on the ones that are on their phones. I drive to the shops which is a distance of about 5 ks and during that time I see so many with their heads down and watched when one nearly ran off the road the other day. Didn't stop her texting though. So, re the elderly. Only if they have become a danger to themselves and others and then I also think a doctor who is seeing a person who should not be driving advise the person and their family. A common sense approach and perhaps a test in increments i.e. test their vision, cognitive functions etc. and if these prove a problem then a driving test.

    Posted by coaster on 03 Sep 2020

  • [4] [0]

    Well, so far every study done in this country on the correlation between elderly drivers having fewer accidents after regular testing has failed miserably. We've just managed to cancel compulsory medical examinations in my state in order to promote increased elderly activity and engagement in our community. Leave the elderly alone - go after the banks first, in the right way, which should've been done during the last GFC in this country (and wasn't). A bank crash will kill us all before every elderly driver in the country ploughing through the walls of our houses we've been (illegally!) locked-down into ever will. Jail time for their CEO's instead of fat bonuses. Research by Swansea University shows 70 year old drivers are 4 times less likely to be involved in an accident than 17-21 year old men. The elderly are also infrequent road users, even though they often pay the same or similar vehicle running costs. The elderly compensate for their declining abilities by driving more carefully, slowing down, leaving bigger gaps, choosing better weather and quieter driving times. Denying the elderly their mobility rights equates to them losing a limb, as some surveys have found. Freedom of movement is very important for physical and mental well-being in the elderly. Many would be fine with regular testing, but the consequences of failing certain sections should be further corrective training and not loss of license. We are not that far off going driverless anyway - then Google can pay all the costs of any accidents. NSW can over-regulate as much as it wants, but studies have shown its elderly drivers have more accidents than those of the same age in under-regulated Victoria. Age-based testing has never helped anyone anywhere. A higher percentage of our population will soon be older than 70... let's facilitate their involvement and not wreck things. It's also illegal to discriminate on age. Don't go down that stupid, destructive path. Help them support us.

    Posted by vegandelight on 03 Sep 2020

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