As the overall population gets older, there will be more older drivers on our roads. And driving patterns change as people get older. Variation from their usual activities after retirement is one of the biggest factors that affect their driving – retired drivers won’t be commuting to work by car.
With age comes a gradual degradation of sight, hearing, reaction time and cognitive function, plus an increase in the likelihood of certain health conditions and medications that could affect the way they drive.
Although older people drive safer than younger ones because they are more experienced and are less aggressive (click here to read more). Older people are more susceptible to injuries than younger ones, and so, they are often hurt more severely when involved in a crash.
Driving is a complex task
Driving is an intricate task. It demands attention on the road, other cars, road and traffic signs, and pedestrians; it requires people to hear and see clearly, and to react quickly to different traffic situations.
Common faults in driving
It’s normal for people to have deterioration in their physical abilities as they grow older. And although in general they are safer drivers (read full article here), this makes them more susceptible in certain situations such as changing lanes or making turns.
Here are common faults older drivers make:
- failure to stay within speed limit
- failure to stay in lane
- failure to yield the right of way
- failure to stop completely at a stop sign
- failure in judgement when turning in traffic
Driving faults could result into crashes, injuries, and even death. The risk of road crashes increases with age. Studies reveal that older drivers are more likely to get involved in a crash, especially after the age of 75. (Read more here)
- at intersections, and usually the struck vehicle
- when they are merging with a faster vehicle (or when the other vehicle is in the blind spot)
- at roundabouts
These common faults and susceptibility could be attributed to slower reflexes, vision impairment, and strained body part movements (click here to see more)
It’s a good thing that fatal crash rates amongst older drivers 65 and over has decreased in recent years. Although the study doesn’t point out the factors that caused the decline, it is suggested that it’s probably due to safer cars and better health in general. (read more here)
Because they are more susceptible to serious injuries and death in a crash. But the good things is, with the advancement and progress of car and road safety schemes, they are now more like to survive a crash than in the past.