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Motoring

Urgent action needed to prevent rise in older driver casualties, says GEM

New measures are needed urgently to help keep older drivers safe on their journeys, road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist says.

The call follows a warning that car driver deaths in the 70 to 79 age group are expected to rise by 40 per cent over the next 20 years.

GEM is also keen to remind older motorists of the need to reflect on their own driving, to understand where they may be experiencing difficulty, and to know where to get practical advice.

A GEM spokesperson said: “We know a lot about the safety challenges faced by older drivers.

“These may come from the road layout, the declining flexibility of the driver, changes in the quality of their vision or from taking longer to react to an emerging hazard.

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“For example, junctions with sharp angles can prove difficult for drivers with restricted neck movement, so investment is needed to make these junctions safer and easier to negotiate.

“At the same time, self-reflection needs starts with an acceptance that we’re all more vulnerable on the road than we think we are. It includes a willingness to recognise the situations that may lead to increased risk, and to ask where, when and why they occur.

“Learning from those situations, perhaps with some expert help, is a good way for a senior driver to stay as safe as possible for as long as possible.”

Speaking up for older drivers has long been central to GEM’s long-term road safety commitment.

The organisation’s ‘Still Safe to Drive’ resource offers a line-up of informative videos, presented by Valerie Singleton OBE.

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