Facts & Figures

Seniors and Road Safety – Facts and Figures

Why we need to be taking action now with a growing older population

  • Current population of Kent is approaching 2 million
  • Over 65’s in Kent currently number 450,000 +
  • At age 65 approximately 43% male and 57% female
  • At age 90 approximately 15% male and 85% female
    (with the older population growing rapidly this ratio is changing)
  • Population increase – in 15 year period ending 2030 the over 80’s + 129%
  • Currently 4.75 million driving licence holders over age 70
  • Male drivers aged over 70 to double, and females to treble over 20 years
  • Drivers 85 and over will double to 1 million by 2025
  • Drivers over 90 have topped 100,000 for the first time
  • Oldest driving license holder aged 109
  • Dementia currently affects 1 in 14 – predicted could rise to 1 in 3
  • Dementia generally increases from age 60
  • Sight problems, medical problems, medication, slower reactions all relevant to older age.

Today’s problems will increase with population rise

  • Casualty rates rise from age 65 with higher risk of fatality / serious injury
  • Over 65’s take 22% longer to identify hazards and longer to react
  • For every mile driven by 80+ drivers the risk of fatality is tenfold
  • Drivers 80+ are four times risk of being killed and blameworthy
  • 19 drivers per million population age 20 – 29 killed in 2015 compared to 18 drivers per million population age 80+ Killed in 2015
  • Drivers aged 75+ can be identified with specific high risks / accidents
  • From age 70 drivers start having problems assessing complex and / or higher speed situations and correspondingly correct decision making / actions.

Driver Assessments (75+)

  • 59% judged safe, 37% judged unsafe, 4% decided to give up

Mobility scooters

  • Medical devices not covered by Road Traffic Act
  • Insurance not compulsory
  • Instruction not required – no suitability / ability requirements or testing
  • In 2012, 1 mobility scooter driver was killed, rising to 9 killed in 2014 and increasing to 14 in 2016 (latest available figures)
  • Highway Code – 10 ambiguous requirements.

Current problems identified re older drivers

  • Lack of on going training /updating of knowledge
  • Increasing traffic volumes and congestion
  • Increased complexity of highways management
  • Traveling fewer miles – less practice
  • Slower reaction times – decreasing abilities
  • Rapidly increasing age groups
  • Hazard perception and reaction
  • Medical / medication
  • Self regulation