DVLA medical requirements mean thousands of motorists may be unsafe driving on UK roads
DVLA staff medically revoked a third of a million driving licences on medical terms over the past five years with more than 73,000 losing a licence in 2018.
Medical conditions which could cause licences to be affected range from major illness such as heart conditions or strokes to simple diabetes.
Suffering from sleep apnoea or syncope – a fainting condition – means people are also likely to see their licence taken away by the DVLA.
According to GEM Motoring Assist, more than 100,000 motorists are aged 90 or above on the UK roads with more than 500 people still driving above the age of 100.
The group encourages those to drive for as long as they can but warned many could be forgetting to check key warning signs which may put them at risk of unsafe driving.
Failing to realise your condition is worsening could lead to higher risk on journeys which could result in having a car crash.
GEM road safety officer, Neil Worth said warning signs can often develop slowly and gradually in elderly drivers which can make it harder to spot.
They warn the elderly driver may not be aware of their changing circumstances and the risk they could pose to themselves and other road users on a journey.
He added: “It has long been GEM’s policy that as many people as possible should enjoy the freedom of the open road for as long as possible, but only while they are safe.”
Failing to declare a medical condition which could reduce your ability to control the vehicle is an offence and can lead to fines.
Road users could be charged up to £1,000 for failing to report their medical condition and could even be prosecuted in a crash.
Car insurance policies are likely to be invalidated if you have an accident caused by a medical condition not originally stated.
Family members can report their concerns regarding a loved one’s medical condition anonymously to the DVLA.
However, GEM Motoring Assist says starting with an informal chat with a relative could ease your mind about road safety.
Asking questions about how safe they feel on the road and which areas which may be difficult can help improve overall stagey on the road.
Neil Worth said: “There’s no upper age limit for driving. The only requirement in law for drivers aged over 70 is to declare every three years that they are fit to drive.
“In the absence of re-testing and mandatory eyesight checks, it’s vital that family members and friends are willing to keep an eye on their senior relatives – and take appropriate action if anything causes them concern.”
A report by the Road Safety Foundation revealed older motorists are at a higher risk on the road than other motorists.
The group says older drivers are four times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a car crash.
These motorists are less likely to be involved in speeding accidents or drink-driving collisions but incidents involving right of way violation is common.
The survey found one-third of older drivers let their licences expire at 85 due to a medical condition or personal choice.
However, the RAC Foundation has claimed new in-car technology improves the safety of older drivers while they are behind the wheel.
The group said new tools such as collision warning systems, lane alerts and sleep detection tools could all benefit elderly motorists.
Original source article: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/1245382/dvla-driving-licence-medical-elderly-driver-road-safety
Author: LUKE CHILLINGSWORTH
Disclaimer: This article was not originally written by a member of the HighwaysIndustry.Com team.