Older drivers are not a real danger in traffic

Older drivers are not a real danger in traffic

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Most old people cause fewer accidents than young people
You have probably heard that older people at the wheel pose a risk to road traffic. But is this statement really correct? Researchers have now found that older drivers are not particularly dangerous for road traffic. Older people do not cause more serious accidents than young drivers.

The scientists at Swansea University found in an investigation that older drivers do not pose any particular risk to road traffic. Older people are even less likely to be involved in traffic accidents than younger drivers. The experts published a press release on the results of their study.

No particular danger from older drivers
For example, old people see and hear less well and should therefore, in the opinion of many people, no longer be drivers. Older drivers build more accidents and are a danger to road traffic. These are widespread advantages of society. However, these statements are incorrect. The elderly are by no means more dangerous or worse drivers, the doctors say.

Old drivers cause up to four times fewer accidents than young drivers
Analysis of the data on traffic accidents has shown that drivers aged 70 and older cause three to four times fewer accidents than 17 to 21 year old men. Older drivers made the most mistakes when turning right and overtaking, the doctors explain. Younger drivers were more likely to be involved in incidents where they drove too fast and then lost control of their vehicle.

Pressure from other road users is pushing old people to make mistakes
Common dangerous situations from older drivers are generally not a problem, explains Professor Charles Musselwhite from Swansea University. Older people are more likely to be involved in an accident than the safest drivers in the cohort study. However, the older drivers also cause fewer accidents than very young drivers. Older people tend to make more mistakes when under pressure from other road users. Still, the drivers with the most accidents are young men, the authors say. In fact, 17 to 21-year-old men cause an accident three to four times more often than 70-year-old drivers.

Many older drivers make the same mistakes
Older and younger drivers are also involved in various types of accidents, the scientists say. Younger men often cause accidents that are triggered by excessive acceleration. The drivers then lose control of their vehicle. The consequences are usually serious. Older drivers lose control of their vehicle, but mostly with much less impact, the authors explain. Older people are also more likely to be involved in accidents with other older drivers. This suggests that older drivers generally make very similar mistakes.

Old people drive slower and more carefully
Older drivers compensate for their declining abilities by generally driving more carefully, the doctors explain. For example, these people drive slower and leave larger gaps. This could also have to do with a lack of risk tolerance. Another study has already shown that older people are less willing to take risks because of brain changes. There have been discussions about road safety and retesting older drivers. In other countries (Denmark, Australia), however, such programs for older drivers have not improved the results of accident statistics.

When should old people's driving licenses be withdrawn?
The question of the circumstances under which older people should be deprived of their license is very complicated. Officials should conduct rigorous testing, especially eye testing and monitoring the effects of prescription drugs, the scientists advise. For many older people, driving a car will simply become too expensive at some point. You can no longer pay for vehicle insurance. For this reason, those affected must then refrain from driving a vehicle. This results in a loss of independence, the experts explain.

Older people in rural areas need their driver's license
When conditions such as dementia or other health problems affect cognitive abilities, this naturally also creates problems in road traffic. Nevertheless, driving licenses should not be withdrawn lightly from old people, explains Professor Musselwhite. People often have to drive if there is no public transport in the area. Even if older people live in rural areas, a vehicle is more often needed to move around.

Withdrawing your driver's license can lead to depression
There is also a psychological need for older people to keep their driver's license. Older people said that driving gives them a sense of freedom and mobility, the authors report. Older drivers continue to feel useful and can take on small tasks in the family. Withdrawing your driver's license can lead to depression and loss of mobility. (as)

Author and source information

Video: Idiot Drivers Caught on Dashcam. How Not to Drive (May 2022).


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