Does driving get harder as you get older? Yes but…

Driver Age Issues

With age, each person develops diseases that can adversely affect safe driving. These are cardiovascular problems, impaired joint mobility. The elderly are not always able to properly estimate their driving skills.

At the same time, statistics show that older drivers are less likely to appear in accident reports as the perpetrators of the accident. The German Federal Statistical Office reports that only 17.5% of accidents involving injuries were caused by drivers aged 65 and over.

The reason for the low accident rate among older drivers may be due to long driving experience and experience driving different makes of cars.

Expert opinion

Roman Timashov Service Director of AVTODOM Altufievo:

— Older Russians, compared to younger ones, pay more attention to their cars and try to keep them in good condition for as long as possible. This is due to the reluctance to make unplanned repairs to the vehicle.

The life experience of older car owners, whose childhood passed during the Soviet era, where the search and replacement of the main car units was a big problem, teaches them that they should take good care of their cars. Another reason for the special attitude of adult motorists to their own car is the perception of it as a “friend” or “relative”, the preservation of viability of which is of particular importance not only from a purely practical point of view, but also from a psychological point of view.

At the same time, age-related drivers do not attach comparable importance to personal comfort. Russians aged 60 and over and with over 40 years of experience are thus less likely than others to warm up or air-condition their cabins using autostart – on average they start a car remotely in only 4% of journeys.

Behavior on the road

The behavior of motorists aged 60+ has its own characteristics. According to the statistics of AVTODOM Altufievo, compared to young car owners, older drivers travel 24% less distances and spend 30% less time behind the wheel.

Russian psychologists say 60+ drivers are more polite, reserved and less likely to break traffic rules. Smart Driving Lab research based on automotive telematics data shows that older car owners make only 6.3 sudden accelerations for every 100 km of driving. As for young people under 24, this figure is more than 15 gears.

When we talk about fines, adult drivers get 13% less because they are 23% less likely to exceed the speed limit. The comparison was made with the category of drivers aged 41-50. Here too, the psychological characteristics that are characteristic of the older generation play a role: balance and calmness. Car owners aged 60+ also make night trips less often.

Despite these findings, experts advise drivers of all ages to be less confident behind the wheel and more critical of their driving skills

doctor’s advice

For safe driving, a clear assessment of the road situation and the ability to react quickly to changes are important. Over the years, these factors gradually decrease.

In case of health problems, you should seek medical help. They can advise on joint preventive measures, monitor your vision, and learn about medications that reduce attention and response. The fact is that after 60 years, many are forced to take certain drugs for life. Your doctor can tell you about potential problems with these drugs and how the drugs affect your ability to drive.

When examining older drivers, doctors always weigh up all the pros and cons when deciding whether or not to drive a car. First of all, they are guided by an assessment of the potential threat to other road users caused by the actions of an older motorist.

Forecast “Behind the Wheel”

In Germany, with a population of more than 83 million, there are more than 10 million drivers over the age of 60. And the proportion of such drivers is increasing. At the same time, there are no such statistics in Russia. Doctors say that over the next 20-30 years, the number of drivers of venerable age will steadily increase. This is due to the general aging of the population, both in Europe and in Russia. At the same time, there is no need to fear an increase in the number of accidents caused by car owners 60+, as this category of citizens does not tend to drive dangerously.

Increasingly, proposals are being made for a regular medical check-up for older drivers, because it detects diseases that pose a danger while driving. In Italy, for example, drivers between the ages of 50 and 75 must undergo a medical examination every five years. After the age of 75 you must confirm the right to drive every three years.

South Korea plans to introduce virtual reality simulators by 2025 to determine the ability of older people to drive a vehicle. It is believed that with the help of a computer it will be possible to accurately assess the state of health and driving ability.

Car owners 60+ use cars based on their preferences and lifestyle. And since the number of such drivers will grow, it may be worthwhile for car manufacturers to research the characteristics of this group and take into account these nuances. The age-old car owners themselves would like to recommend taking into account their driving skills and trying to ensure safety not only for themselves, but also for other road users.

Source: Z R


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