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To think old drivers are more dangerous than young ones?

(83 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

NewtRipley Wed 22-Jan-14 16:17:52

I think big generalisations are more inaccurate than small ones

grovel Wed 22-Jan-14 16:17:54

Well they pay much less insurance than young drivers which suggests that the stats are against you.

jacks365 Wed 22-Jan-14 16:20:07

They do need to hand in their licence if their eyesight or health isn't up to it so yabu it starts from 70, some people are still working at that age.

HomeHelpMeGawd Wed 22-Jan-14 16:20:53

The plural of anecdote is not data.

hiddenhome Wed 22-Jan-14 16:21:49

They drive very hesitantly at times.

Dh's car was written off by an elderly Micra driver who completely ignored the roundabout hmm

SmallBee Wed 22-Jan-14 16:22:23

From hearing a diss usurp with someone who works within the industry I seem to remember that men's driving skills improve with age however women's deteriorate sad
However this is a sweeping generalisation.

NewtRipley Wed 22-Jan-14 16:23:21

Define "old dear" and "they"

JeanSeberg Wed 22-Jan-14 16:23:42

Yes - your one near-miss with an older driver is a clear scientific indication that all older drivers are more dangerous than younger ones.

Meantime, back in the real world, there are regularly threads on here about 'non-old' drivers who are nervous, anxious, 'think I should get my eyes tested'...

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Wed 22-Jan-14 16:23:45

Some are, but they don't take as many risks as some young drivers.

I do think that there should be more said about vehicles being dangerous - not something some young consider when they are driving.

Also, those space chevrons should be on all roads - to stop cars driving so close to each other, that or the two second gap widely publicised.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 22-Jan-14 16:24:05

I think they can both be very dangerous just in different ways.

NewtRipley Wed 22-Jan-14 16:24:57


I agree with that

Tailgating is rife

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Wed 22-Jan-14 16:26:12

YANBU to think that some people should not be driving, but I wouldn't limit that to either old or young tbh.
I have a rule of thumb, that men shouldn't drive small cars (usually old men who can't see past the steering wheel, or young men who can't afford the insurance on the car they want - so feel the need to show off) and women shouldn't drive large cars (as they can;t gauge the size of the thing!)
There are exceptions to these guidelines (I drive an 8 seater people carrier, and obviously am a great driver wink) but how many times have you been stuck behind a small car and when you overtake it's an old man, how many times have you been overtaken by a small car - and it's a young man and how many times have been driving along a road that is wide enough for a tank and the large car waiting for you to go through the gap is being driven by a woman? wink

BrianTheMole Wed 22-Jan-14 16:26:15

Theres plenty of younger drivers who have nearly crashed into me as well. One put me in hospital with his crap driving. And older people have to renew their licences every 3 years after age 70 anyway. So yabu.

PistolAnnies Wed 22-Jan-14 16:27:18

NewtRipley - Well if you don't know the definition of 'old' then I suggest you look it up?! As for 'dear', I'm obvs referring to a lady

fluffyraggies Wed 22-Jan-14 16:27:25

If OP had said ''AIBU to think some old drivers are just as dangerous as some young drivers?''. I imagine that statement would have got more or less 100% unanimous YANBU.

But ... that would be boring - it's better this way grin

bodygoingsouth Wed 22-Jan-14 16:27:49

generalisations are usually daft op as is calling another woman an 'old dear' your post is just silly. there are dangerous drivers of all ages but the stats don't back up your argument.

NewtRipley Wed 22-Jan-14 16:27:58


Old woman would have sufficed. No need to patronise

justmatureenough2bdad Wed 22-Jan-14 16:28:50

surely it is more accurate, based on the description of the incident to state that "people with vision problems are more dangerous than young drivers"...

PistolAnnies Wed 22-Jan-14 16:29:48

Billy, I drove both my Animal and Nissan Navara trucks way better than smaller cars, I think it makes you a much better driver actually

ComposHat Wed 22-Jan-14 16:33:05

I think they pose different risks and need to be dealt with differently.

Younger drivers dangerous driving tends to be a greater willingness to take risks/think they are invisible. This can be dealt with by behaviour management and or criminal sanction. A driver who routinely speeds can be taught to be a safer driver or banned if they don't learn.

Older drivers who drive dangerously may be due to reduced physical or mental capacity associated with ageing. This is often non reversible and can't be addressed in a way that allows them to modify their behaviour. So these drivers need to be tested more frequently for their fitness to drive and made to surrender their licences.

Older drivers driving danger

NewtRipley Wed 22-Jan-14 16:33:57


Good post

Mia4 Wed 22-Jan-14 16:38:39

Agreeing with justmature here though I'd say it's people who drive with impaired vision itself since vision problems can often be rectified with glasses. One of my friends has just been finally started wearing her glasses- she vainly refused before- she's only 30.

Some people are crap drivers and don't care about others on the road- they continually drive shit and it's the other drivers who avoid or suffer the accident. Some people are good drivers most of the time but have that one moment of shitness that could result in an accident.

LucilleBluth Wed 22-Jan-14 16:38:57

There are some awful older drivers round here. We are in a village, there are lots of old people here and in the surrounding villages, you really do need a car.......but I encounter far more dangerous driving from the older drivers than I've ever seen from younger drivers. I'm talking weaving around country roads, flying past schools or driving at 30 on a 60 road, they plod along with all the time in the world with a long line behind them.

twofingerstoGideon Wed 22-Jan-14 16:44:29 'old dear'
Ah... ageism. The last acceptable prejudice.

MrsOakenshield Wed 22-Jan-14 16:47:11

FIL is awful, and the fact that he drives a massive 4x4 makes him even more dangerous, and he does a lot of driving. Can't believe that he's never been in an accident. I won't get into the car with him with DD, but he drives his DP's grandchildren round a lot shock. Rarely driven by MIL but her DH is unbelievably slow, I don't know if dangerously slow though. My mum doesn't drive much but she did manage to write off BIL's car a few years ago by crashing straight into it "I panicked and hit the accelerated not the brake" okaaaaaaaaaaaay!

so, on that measure YANBU. I would change the lot of them a massive load of insurance.

My auntie's not bad <balanced>.

Nanny0gg Wed 22-Jan-14 16:53:43

The plural of anecdote is not data.


Nanny0gg Wed 22-Jan-14 16:55:15

Seriously - define 'old'.

60s? 70s? 80s?


tripecity Wed 22-Jan-14 16:56:56

some old twat was driving at 20 mph today in front of me and stopping for about a minute at junctions where there was no traffic and giving way to the left and the right on roundabouts and it gave me the absolute rage.

That's why they cause accidents, they infuriate other drivers

ComposHat Wed 22-Jan-14 16:57:24

I think as drivrrs get over a certain age the insurance premiums start to rise to reflect the risk they pose.

I would like to see for new drivers: something along the lines of highher penalty points for speeding,, restricted driving hours, ongoing trsoning and mandatory p plates for the first two years after passing their test.

For older drivers: annual physical/mental capacity check post 70 at their GP, plus a short driving fitness test every 5 years with a registered examiner (emergency stop, slow speed control etc.)

MrsOakenshield Wed 22-Jan-14 16:57:49

anyone wearing purple? grin

NewtRipley Wed 22-Jan-14 16:59:29

old twat

old dear


Some silly bitch did that to me the other week. Women, eh?

If you get infuriated and can't contain it, then maybe you need to think about whether you are safe on the road?

MrsOakenshield Wed 22-Jan-14 16:59:58

I think FIL would pass your test, Compos so he'd still be on the streets. He just drives along, pointing things out so veering around, unexpectedly slowing down, that kind of thing. In a test he'd be fine because he's not showing where so-and-so who taught DH in infant school is now living or whatever.

NCISaddict Wed 22-Jan-14 17:00:38

Totally anecdotal grin but the RTC's I have attended that have resulted in fairly serious injuries have, without exception, been the result of younger drivers actions whilst the minor injury ones have been older drivers, possibly because the younger drivers tend to drive faster and be less cautious?
Obviously this does not prove anything and sweeping generalisations are not appropriate.
So yes, UABU

etoo Wed 22-Jan-14 17:03:25

I would like to see for new drivers: ... restricted driving hours,...

What hours though? Might make it awkward for them to get to their zero-hour contract jobs at random hours of the day/night.

In an ideal world it would be good if rush hour driving was restricted to people with jobs or had some other legitimate reason for driving at those times, would help a lot with congestion. Totally unworkable in reality but I can dream...

bodygoingsouth Wed 22-Jan-14 17:08:50

lucille so 'they' both speed dangerously past schools and also plod along slowly.


what a ridiculous term .'old dear' is! what do you mean op? are all older women dears? what do you mean?

CPtart Wed 22-Jan-14 17:09:18

My 86 year old grandmother is still driving. In the past few months she has pranged two stationary cars on separate occasions and wasn't even aware she had done so until the police came knocking!

ComposHat Wed 22-Jan-14 17:10:42

Those were just ideas off the top of my head. But I thinkIit is absurd that you ger your licence at 17/18 and then are left to your own devices.

At the other end of the age spectrum, possesion of a piece of paper that says you were able to drive 50 yearsago Iis taken as all the proof needed that you are still capable of handling a piece of lethal machinery.
I think rather more thought is needed on how people begin and end their driving lives.

SlowlorisIncognito Wed 22-Jan-14 17:11:08

I do agree with this to an extent. Don't forget new drivers are limited to getting 6 points on their licence before they lose it for the first two years after they pass, so there are some restrictions on them already. They're also massively financially penalised by their insurance if they have an accident.

However, I think lots of people of all ages drive dangerously. Part of this is that the roads have changed a lot since many people learnt to drive, and they have not kept up to date with changing traffic laws. There is part of me that thinks that anyone who hasn't taken a theory test should do so, as I know several people in their 50s/60s who admit they probably don't know enough to pass one. Surely if this knowledge is required of young people to drive on the road, then older people should know it too? This would make people more aware of things like stopping distances.

I also think traffic laws in general should be policed better.

I agree that older drivers are dangerous for different reasons. I think they can behave unpredictably due to their age or lack of knowledge, which is dangerous, and if they can't see properly this is a major issue. I also know two older people who have been told by the police they shouldn't be driving any more who continue to drive. I think the police should have more powers to seize people's licences.

SamU2 Wed 22-Jan-14 17:11:27

Composhat I just passed my test three months ago. I am 32 years old. I wouldn't be able to do my job if we had restricted hours or pick my kids up at night.

Also, if you get 6 points in two years you lose your license and have to re-sit your test. I think that is harsh enough.

I used to think these ideas were good and started a thread about it once myself but thinking it through it is really a crap idea.

I think it would be pretty shitty for me to lose my job because I of some driving time restrictions. I am as safe as driver as everyone else, probably safer than a lot of people .

Mouthfulofquiz Wed 22-Jan-14 17:14:16

I find that the most dangerous drivers tend to be elderly but I think it's because of where I most commonly drive - I work near a large hospital so you just learn to make allowances and accept that these drivers might be upset, stressed, lost etc etc. I have learnt to anticipate the risks a bit more. I used to get very frustrated with people but on undertaking some reflection I realised it was pointless and a bit wrong really.
When I lived rurally, I found that those who most often overtook at dangerous places were young...
I was probably a bad driver when I first had my son as I was tired, full of hormones, anxious if he was crying etc.
No-one is perfect :-)

LucilleBluth Wed 22-Jan-14 17:26:29

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Motherinlawsdung Wed 22-Jan-14 17:26:30

Well if we're doing ridiculous generalisations I would like to point out that the person who recently smashed into my car was a seventeen-year-old.

NewtRipley Wed 22-Jan-14 17:29:08


There is more than one unpredictable older driver

SamU2 Wed 22-Jan-14 17:29:33

The person who drove into me was in his early 20's.

Bloody man didn't look before pulling out of a junction and pulled right out on me. He was going right so he ended up with more damage but 5 weeks later and I still don't have my car back angry

Oblomov Wed 22-Jan-14 17:35:35

I do think that there should be a re-test/ check up at a certain age , say 70.

AuntieStella Wed 22-Jan-14 17:39:51

It's already the law that people with disqualifying health conditions or eyesight must surrender their licence. And that's not necessarily age related, and is binding on everyone young or old.

The nearest thing to evidence about age groups and safety comes from the insurance industry, whose profitability depends on correct assessment of accident data.

The highest premiums are for young drivers, not old ones.

drudgetrudy Wed 22-Jan-14 17:41:32

YABU, Fuck off. From an "old dear" (silly girl)

LucilleBluth Wed 22-Jan-14 17:43:34

Not grasping the concept of there being more than one driver in my anecdote and being totally condescending about it is worse than my grammar mistake.

specialsubject Wed 22-Jan-14 17:47:54

the silly bitch who nearly wrote me off the other day while looking at her damn i-phone and driving at the same time was certainly not an OAP.

hope she hits a tree soon.

CiderBomb Wed 22-Jan-14 17:49:59

I'm with you OP. It seems to be a bit of a taboo but I really think that once drivers reach 70 they should have to either retake their test or hand over their licence.

A few years ago I was walking a long a busy road near where I live, a fire engine with lights and sirens blazing comes hurtling along the road obviously en route to an emergency. All other vehicles pull over to let it pass, except for a small car being driven very slowly by a very elderly looking woman who seems to be oblivious of the fire engine right up her arse with its lights and sirens on. There was no where for it to go, it then sounded its horns at her in top of the sirens, she still doesn't pull over

Eventually the cars coming in the opposite direction pull over and it has to overtake her, but little old lady is that there like she had all the time in the world. Meanwhile somewhere some poor sod is stuck in a burning building or trapped in a smashed up car....!

OAP drivers are a dangerous PIA!

gordyslovesheep Wed 22-Jan-14 17:53:33

well you use to broad a definition to be able to answer - obviously 4 year olds are far more dangerous behind the wheel than 45 year olds - I am imagining

under 25's are more likely to kill themselves or have accidents

on balance I am going to pop for YABU and a bit goady - hth grin

Mabelandrose Wed 22-Jan-14 17:54:17

I have reported some very scary elderly drivers.

gordyslovesheep Wed 22-Jan-14 17:56:34

but I have had way more near misses with boy racers on their phones, young girls ...on their phones and middle aged men in mid range company cars with anger issues than with 60+ year olds

BabyMummy29 Wed 22-Jan-14 17:57:16

From my personal point of view (my mother( - a definite yes.

I've lost count of the near-misses she's had and suspect there may be more that she hasn't admitted to.

She keeps saying she'll give up at the next milestone birthday, when the MOT/insurance is due etc etc but keeps on going.

She thinks she is a great driver sad

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.

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

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

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

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


Calling someone thick is nice though is it?

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.

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.

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.

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.

NewtRipley Wed 22-Jan-14 18:26:06
SilverApples Wed 22-Jan-14 18:26:19

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

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

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.

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...

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

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

Well nanny, them as live that long...

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

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.

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!!

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?

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

TfL1 Fri 23-May-14 14:31:58

This is a message from Transport for London.

As part of our new young drivers road safety campaign we have produced a new advert to advise young people not to speed, or drive too fast for the road that they are on:

In 2012, 4,684 people in London were injured in collisions involving young drivers.

We urge young drivers to stay focused and not show off for their friends on the road.

You may not realise, but young people can learn some driving habits from other road users.

So we are urging young people: "Kill your speed and not your mates".

Callani Fri 23-May-14 16:37:49

I think there are a lot of people who drive dangerously because they take a lot of risks and younger people tend to be more responsible for this.

However I think that the vast majority of people will become a dangerous driver before they hand in their license - after all, if you were still driving safely, why would you stop? I certainly wouldn't want to give up such a freedom if I was perfectly capable of driving meaning that you have to NOT be capable of driving before considering it.

So yes, someone can be a completely acceptable driver at 70, however they will almost inevitably become an unsafe driver before they voluntarily give up their license or have it taken off them.

indigo18 Fri 23-May-14 17:32:54

I think you are BU. The driver up my arse in the black hatchback behind me is almost always young and male. I drive confidently and do not dawdle along, but said male has to be IN FRONT of me, whatever it takes.

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