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To think old drivers are more dangerous than young ones?

(80 Posts)
PistolAnnies Wed 22-Jan-14 16:15:35

An old dear almost crashed right into me before, clearly didn't see, even when I had to swiftly swerve to get out of her way, and she was squinting her eyes trying to see blush

I see this more with old drivers and think they should have to surrender their license, if at a certain age, their eyesight and health are not in the best condition angry

LifeHuh Wed 22-Jan-14 21:08:52

Vision and driving is covered by legislation - you have to be able both to read a numberplate at the required distance,and read a particular line of an Opticians chart.If you don't meet the standard you are not legal to drive and your insurance will be invalid,this applies to everyone regardless of age.
There will be people who are driving with inadequate vision - there are also people driving illegally for other reasons.And plenty of older people can see just fine - my Grandmother,at 90,had the best vision in the family (more anecdote of course...)
Has your Grandad told DVLA about his sight issues,*TooExtraImmatureCheddar*? They check both extent of the visual field and vision if there is doubt about someone's sight but that is dependant about people being honest about their health etc.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Wed 22-Jan-14 20:17:48

Warning: anecdote to follow.

My granddad is 75, and has recently been diagnosed with glaucoma. He says he has noticed his field of vision narrowing since his diagnosis, plus he has a small cataract on his good eye which is not yet ready to be operated on. He is still allowed to drive, somehow passing an eye test where he admits to guessing at the letters. Grandma has taken over driving at night or if he's particularly tired, but she has to suggest it. I'm fairly sure that if he thought there was a need for it, he'd go out in his car at night despite all this.

However. He has always been a terrible driver. He drove over a mini roundabout 15 years ago and wrecked his suspension. He never indicates and pulls across lanes of traffic without looking. How he has never been in a serious accident I don't know. Mum says he's been like this as long as she can remember. He gets lost constantly, and then stressed. It used to be a standing joke that we could tell when he had arrived at our house because of the outraged tooting you could hear from other drivers.

So I'm on the fence. Yes, people with vision problems shouldn't be driving. But what about people who are just poor drivers? Of any age. I do quite like the idea of compulsory testing every 5 years, but only if it cost less than the current driving test.

paxtecum Wed 22-Jan-14 20:12:38

If the old dears lose their licences at 70 how are they going to drive here, there and everywhere to look after their grandchildren.
I know a lot of late 60s grandparents who drive all over the country to look after their DGCs - often at very short notice.

FoxOff Wed 22-Jan-14 19:52:01

The old folk are not good drivers by Grand Prix and rally standards but they usually drive more slowly and take much more care than young drivers so they have less accidents.

They can be a bit doddery but it comes to us all so I'm not knocking them

KareKare Wed 22-Jan-14 19:44:45

In an average week I probably see alarming driving from at least one of each dangerous driver stereotype - boy racer in his mum's fiesta, twatty salesman in his company BMW, old boy with a flat cap, old lady who can barely see over the steering wheel, young 20 something gassing away on their phone.

I can't say I see more bad driving from older people. My dad's over 70 and he's possibly the best driver I know.

NCISaddict Wed 22-Jan-14 19:44:15

I'm going to be driving a bloody ambulance at 68 apparently on blue lights so I hope I'm still safe. Not into job creation!

SilverApples Wed 22-Jan-14 19:33:32

Hang on, what about those of us that are going to have to work until we are in our 70s and 80s and will need to get to work?
Can I retire at 65 and be looked after by some of those vibrant young things? Or will they run a free taxi service for us old dears?

bodygoingsouth Wed 22-Jan-14 19:25:25

perhaps we should herd all old people into retirement villages with all facilities in walking distance so none of them need to drive.

phew op you're safe now!!

WitchWay Wed 22-Jan-14 19:15:44

My mother is nearly blind in one eye & still driving though she's stopped at night - she has annual checks & has been told she is within normal limits as her other eye is still fine. Not sure I'm happy about it though - it's obvious she just doesn't notice things properly.

At what age do you intend to give up driving, OP?

SilverApples Wed 22-Jan-14 19:11:33

Well nanny, them as live that long...

bodygoingsouth Wed 22-Jan-14 19:09:46

oh yes gosh women can't actually parallel park, men can't multitask, all young people these days binge drink, old people can't drive safely ya de ya de ya..

newt what are you like showing us the true stats when slagging off the 'old dears' and sweeping generalisations are so much fun. grin

Nanny0gg Wed 22-Jan-14 19:09:21

I see age-discriminatory terms are alive and well and living on Mumsnet.

I would like to point out that you'll all be Old Dears or Oldies or even possibly an Old Twat one day.

Wonder how you'll like it...

5HundredUsernamesLater Wed 22-Jan-14 18:57:58

I agree with OP. I have lost count of the times I have been nearly run off the road by a pensioner driving dangerously. We have some new mini roundabouts in our town and most of the pensioners don't seem to even notice them let alone stop at them and then they just stop suddenly in the middle of the road outside a shop or a post office and just abandon their car while they shop. Then get in their car and just set off again without looking or indicating. There has been three accidents in as many weeks on the main street and all have been oldies driving badly.

OddFodd Wed 22-Jan-14 18:36:35

I'm reminded of that quote from fried Green Tomatoes: I'm older and I have more insurance.

Although that's probably before your time

SilverApples Wed 22-Jan-14 18:26:19

I do think a retest for every driver every 5 years is a very good idea.

NewtRipley Wed 22-Jan-14 18:26:06
SilverApples Wed 22-Jan-14 18:25:05

I'm an old dear.
Is the appropriate term for the OP 'Young Bimbo'?
I need to get my insults age-appropriate, advice welcome.

Franchini Wed 22-Jan-14 18:25:05

I think that all people regardless of age should have to resit their driving licence every five years or so. This would eliminate a lot of drivers who should not be on the road and also ensure that all drivers would be up to date with the latest driving rules etc.. I would be happy to have to re sit if it would mean there were more sensible drivers on the road.

bodygoingsouth Wed 22-Jan-14 18:21:08

lucille you can't really group all 'old people' together and accuse them of driving both far too fast and far too slow around your village can you.

to not really grasp the fact that there are good and bad drivers of all ages and all sexes is well, just a little bit thick.

etoo Wed 22-Jan-14 18:17:10

I don't think which group of drivers is worse is important TBH, but older drivers do seem to escape the same scrutiny of their ability that younger people face. Even the driving test that some of these people passed 50+ years ago was a lot easier than the modern one, ignoring all the other age related problems.

NewtRipley Wed 22-Jan-14 18:14:11


Calling someone thick is nice though is it?

elastamum Wed 22-Jan-14 18:12:54

I dont think you can generalise, but IMO older drivers, (70+) should have to pass a hazard awareness and reaction test to maintain their licence.

Maybe I am biased though, as my car got hit head on last November by an 85yr old driver who was on the wrong side of the road. I was very lucky and walked away (xc90), the other driver was hospitalised.

The police think he isnt fit to drive and have asked him to surrender his licence, he has refused, so now they are prosecuting him, as in the face of 3 witnesses, he refuses to accept he was at fault. The bottom line is he does'nt see why he should stop driving.

He could easily have killed someone and might still if the police dont get him off the road sad

punter Wed 22-Jan-14 18:12:47

I think any driver wearing a hat is a danger on the roads.

Topseyt Wed 22-Jan-14 18:04:43

I see an equal amount of bad driving from both young and old around here.

I see younger men who think they are the next Lewis Hamilton, and occasionally older people who hardly seem able to see over the wheel.

It is a generalisation though. There is plenty of good driving from both groups too.

I like to think that when the time comes I will willingly give up my car and licence. I do hope that I will recognise when that time comes, but is that something which is easier to say than to do. Deterioration is often slow and insidious, so may go unnoticed for some time. I understand that to be the reason for the tests which begin at the age of 70 and are then done every 5 years.

I am not the keenest of drivers though, so I guess that by that age I will be keen to stop driving if I can.

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