Report on survey research into attitudes on the regulation of older drivers

This report, published with the support of RIAS, presents the results of survey research into driving behaviour across the lifecourse, and options for both stronger regulations around driving in later life and ‘nudges’ to support self-regulation.

The survey’s key results include:

  • 30 per cent of drivers consider themselves to be superior to most other drivers. Only one per cent of drivers believe that they are worse than most other drivers. The same proportion (30 per cent) of drivers aged 55-64 are claim they are better than most other drivers, and drivers aged 65 or over are only slightly less likely to make this claim.

  • 55 per cent of people are unaware that older drivers are required to renew their licence at 70.

  • 63 per cent of people believe that individuals should be compelled to cease driving at some point as they get older. Almost one in four said that people should have to stop at 75, 70 or younger than 70 (although a similar proportion said drivers should never have to stop driving based on their age).

  • 85 per cent of people argue that older drivers should be re-tested at some point, with 40 per cent agreeing that re-testing should take place at 65, 60 or younger than 60.

  • There is a strong majority in favour of the idea of self-selected license restrictions – 66 per cent support the idea, with 31 per cent opposed – although support declines slightly across the age distribution.

  • More than two-thirds of people are in favour of the idea that older drivers who can demonstrate effective self-regulation should receive tax and insurance discounts, with around a quarter opposed. Support is strongest among people aged 34 or under, and 55 and over.

Dr Craig Berry, Head of Policy and Senior Researcher at ILC-UK, and author of the report said:

“It is right that policy-makers seek to respond to the potential impact of population ageing on road safety, and the calls for tighter restrictions on driving in later life are understandable. There is little evidence, however, that more draconian measures will lead to safer roads. When presented with ILC-UK’s ideas for supporting self-regulation, the public are in general very supportive. Policy and practice needs to be geared more systematically towards supporting self-regulation by older drivers.”

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