Police seek to cut down injuries to older drivers

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A NEW initiative from the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership aims to keep older motorists safe on the road.

It follows an emerging trend of fatalities and serious injuries amongst drivers in the 60 plus age group.

Recent DVLA figures show that there are now well over a million drivers aged over 80 in the UK with more than a hundred over the age of 100.

Additionally, the number of drivers between 60 and 74 is projected to increase by 22 per cent by 2016 - a demographic change which will be seen across Sussex and the South East.

Although older drivers are statistically no more likely to be involved in a collision than their younger counterparts, the risk of serious injury - or even death - can be magnified by the effects of aging. These effects can also have an impact on a driver’s ability to see, hear or move properly behind the wheel.

The aim of the campaign is to ensure that older motorists, their friends, families and health professionals have all of the information they need to make a positive decision about older motorists driving future - not about encouraging them to give up driving completely.

Older drivers are being urged to consider going on an Experienced Driver Assessment session. These sessions last an hour and are undertaken on roads the driver is familiar with, and in their own vehicle.

The session’s qualified driving instructor can help the motorist identify not only any bad habits, but also any modifications which they might need to make to their vehicle or driving style to ensure that they’re as safe as possible behind the wheel.

The Experienced Driver Assessment is not a test and if the instructor is concerned, the driver is given the chance to talk about any issues over with a counsellor from Age UK.

More information about these assessments can be found on the SSRP’s website or by calling 01273 482293. For more information on issues relating to older motorists visit the SSRP’s website www.SussexSaferRoads.gov.uk.