Prince Philip’s crash brought the question of old age on the road into the spotlight last month. Some argued that, because he is 97 years of age, he was too old to be behind the wheel. Now, new research now reveals exactly what Brits really think about elderly drivers.
Analysis of 1 million garage customers reveals that just over 40 percent of us believe there should be an age cap for driving licences. As many as 83 percent of us think that older drivers should have to pass yearly safety checks to be able to retain their licence.
How elderly is too old? 70? 65? …60?
What age such a proposed limit should sit at? Over a third of the whocanfixmycar.com respondents who that said there should be a cap indicated it should be as low as 70 years of age.
For reference, that’s 27 years younger than Prince Philip, and just five years above retirement age. That gap is only due to tighten in the coming years as the retirement age rises.
Incredibly, as many as a fifth of those respondents said that the limit should apply to 65 or even 60 year-olds. Who said 60 was the new middle-aged?
Functioning faculties are essential standard fitment for driving, regardless of your age. That increasing age usually correlates with a lapse in driving aptitude would best be addressed by regular assessments rather than a blanket ban. We’re in no doubt some 80 year-olds are better drivers than some 40 year-olds.
Still, funding such regular assessments of the nation’s elderly drivers would be difficult, particularly as the demographic is expanding. This might lead some to argue a cap could be the safest option, albeit with the caveat that you can earn your right to stay on the road. However, we’re not in the business of suggesting people should be relieved of their liberties.
Of course, the Duke of Edinburgh got back on the road shortly after the accident, raising even more eyebrows and questions around age and driving. He’s since surrendered his licence…