DRIVING: New survey of older drivers

Almost half (44%) of drivers aged 70 and over say they would feel like they’d lost part of their identity if they were not able to drive. Meanwhile, for more than nine in 10 (91%) older drivers it would mean a loss of independence, and almost three in five (57%) say they wouldn’t be able to spend as much time with family and friends.

That’s according to a new survey by older people’s charity, Independent Age, to promote its new, free advice guide, Behind the Wheel: Tips for safe and confident driving in later life, launched earlier this month. Independent Age worked with RDF Television who produced 100 Year Old Driving School for ITV to offer tips and guidance to some of the nation’s oldest drivers.

The negative emotional effects of not being able to drive become even starker when comparing older people in rural areas with those living in densely populated regions. Those in rural areas say they would be more likely to feel lonelier or more isolated if they were no longer able to drive (54% in lightly populated areas vs. 40% in densely populated areas), more likely to feel like they’d lost a part of their identity (48% vs. 41%) and more likely to think their wellbeing or general health would suffer (46% vs. 29%), showing that being able to drive represents much more than just getting from A to B for many older people.

Read the full report and download a copy of Behind the Wheel: Tips for safe and confident driving in later life on the Independent Age website.

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