Research & reports

Title: Driving in later life: Options for reform

Organisation: International Longevity Centre - UK
Date uploaded: 5th December 2011
Date published/launched: November 2011

This report presents the results of survey research into driving behaviour across the life course, and options for both stronger regulations around driving in later life and 'nudges' to support self-regulation.

Free
Older people today are driving further and more often than previous cohorts. Many older people feel reliant upon their car and see driving as a genuine necessity. This is related to the need to stay mobile in later life. Maintaining mobility helps to delay the physical and mental decline associated with ageing, and is vital for maintaining access to services, social connectivity, and fulfilling the various routines of daily life. The private car is available to individuals at any hour, and provides door-to-door transport, and therefore has a decisive role to play in meeting older people’s mobility needs. Older people can feel suddenly isolated and vulnerable when they no longer have access to a car.

This report presents the results of survey research into driving behaviour across the life course, and options for both stronger regulations around driving in later life and ‘nudges’ to support self-regulation.

The survey’s key results include:

· 30% of drivers consider themselves to be superior to most other drivers. Only 1% of drivers believe that they are worse than most other drivers. In terms of age, drivers aged 55-64 are no less likely to claim they are better than most other drivers, and drivers aged 65 or over are only slightly less likely to make this claim.

· 55% of people are unaware that older drivers are required to renew their licence at 70.

· 63% of people believe that individuals should be compelled to cease driving at some point as they get older. Almost one in four said that people should have to stop at 75, 70 or younger than 70 (although a similar proportion said drivers should never have to stop driving based on their age).

· 85% of people argue that older drivers should be re-tested at some point, with 40% agreeing that re-testing should take place at 65, 60 or younger than 60.

· There is a strong majority in favour of the idea of self-selected license restrictions – 66% support the idea, with 31% opposed – although support declines slightly across the age distribution.

· More than two-thirds of people are in favour of the idea that older drivers who can demonstrate effective self-regulation should receive tax and insurance discounts, with around a quarter opposed. Support is strongest among people aged 34 or under, and 55 and over.

For more information contact:
Dr. Craig Berry

Downloads and resources: