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Can older drivers be nudged?

8 February 2011

That’s the question posed by the latest report from the RAC Foundation, which asks how older drivers can be influenced – or ‘nudged’ – to self regulate their driving, so they carry on until they are unsafe to do so.

The report says that most people only seriously consider their ability to drive at the age of 70, when they are required by law to reapply for their licence and certify that they are safe to have one.

Research released earlier this year by IAM shows drivers over the age of 70 are no more likely to cause crashes than any other motorists, and they are considerably safer than younger drivers.

However, due to age-related decline in mental and physical abilities, older motorists are more prone to making driving errors that can lead to a crash.

Mobility is essential for older citizens, and the RAC Foundation’s report advises against setting arbitrary age limits at which to label people a hazard. Instead, it suggests a system is developed to encourage individual responsibility amongst motorists and their families.

RoadSafe recommends that drivers of all ages get regular health checks, as advised by the relevant professionals, to ensure they are fit to drive.

The Foundation's report, Can older drivers be nudged?, was written by Dr Craig Berry, International Longevity Centre UK.

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