Safer people

Driving safer for longer

For many older people in Devon a driving licence is an important symbol of independence. Cars make it easier to go shopping, get to appointments, keep in touch with friends and attend social events – without having to rely on others.

Research carried out by the University of Manchester, commissioned by the Department of Transport, revealed that older drivers have fewer accidents per year than any other age group but they do have more accidents per mile driven. Older drivers as a group are relatively safe – most drive conservatively, travel fewer miles overall than other drivers and do not deliberately drive unsafely.

Devon County Council and Devon and Cornwall Constabulary are committed to helping people to retain their independent mobility whilst remaining safe on the road.

Video information

For general advice and information please refer to our series of short training films.

The first video recaps on speed limits:

The others seven videos cover right turns, night driving, motorways, gyratories, tailgating, automatic vehicles and young drivers.

> View complete series of Driving Safer for Longer Training films

Driving assessments

While some older drivers maybe able to continue driving well into their 80s and 90s it’s important for them to regularly assess their driving and make adjustments if necessary. Driving is a complicated task, requiring continuous concentration and good health. The ageing process can affect a range of skills essential to driving – including eyesight, memory, decision-making and reaction times. Because this process is usually gradual, it can be difficult for the driver to notice and take action to address any potential problems.

> To book an assessment please go to the MaxDriver Driving Safer for Longer website

Frequently asked questions

QWhen does my driving licence expire?
AMost UK car driving licences are valid until your 70th birthday, when you must apply for a new three-year licence by completing a declaration that you are still fit to drive.
QHow do I know what medical conditions I need to declare to DVLA and if I do will I lose my licence?
AThere are a number of medical conditions which, if diagnosed, you have to declare to the DVLA. Ask your GP. Notification will not automatically lead to your licence being revoked. The DVLA medical group will consider each individual case and advise accordingly. For further information follow the ‘The Use of Medicines and Drugs’ link
QI have difficulties seeing vehicles behind or overtaking me, and also in reversing. Can you help please?
AOn these pages you will find a wide range of advice including Roadfit driving assessments and specialist courses. There is a range of accessories available that assist the driver in having all round vision. There are also easy exercises that can help your flexibility. For further information follow the ‘Keeping Fit to Drive’ link.
QI think some of my family are worried about my ability to drive safely. What should I do?
AWe can arrange for you to spend an hour or so with a local driving assessor who can provide you with an independent report of your driving safety. He or she can also advise you how to adapt your driving. For further information follow the ‘Time to Give Up Driving’ link.
QI have been told that automatic cars are easier to drive. Is this true?
AThis may be true. However if you are changing from a manual to an automatic car it is advisable for you to have a familiarisation session with an instructor. Devon Drivers Centre can advise you further.
QWhy focus on older drivers?
AEach year approximately 1000 collisions in Devon involve drivers over the age of 65. However, it is important to stress that older age should not be linked with bad driving, although it may impair driving ability.