Boom in elderly motorists 'fuelled by enthusiastic male drivers'

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There are 248 centenarians with a driving license in the UK,  new DVLA data  has revealed. 

The number, which has halved from 506 last year, comes as the number of over 90s with a valid license has risen past 100,000 for the first time.

Of the 100,281 over-90s who are still driving, elderly men are twice as likely to be still behind the wheel than women, the figures show, with 74,564 men still on the road compared to 34,213 women. 

Experts said men were less likely than women to accept their driving days were over, putting the difference down to traditional gender roles of older generations. 

Luke Bosdet, a spokesman at the AA, said: “People who are elderly today came from a generation where there was more reliance on men doing the driving. Men are often more enthusiastic drivers, and if you give up your license it feels like surrender.” 


There are more drivers over 90 on the roads than ever before 

 Steve Parsons

Once motorists reach 70 they are required to renew their licence every three years and answer written questions about medical conditions and eyesight quality.

With senior citizens more likely to have a range of health problems and slower reaction times, there has been fierce debate on the issue of the safety of older drivers. But last year a study by Swansea University claimed elderly road users are no more dangerous than other drivers.

Dr Charles Musselwhite, who authored the report, said while reaction times decreased as people aged, this was compensated by older drivers taking more care on the road.

In addition a study by the Older Drivers’ Taskforce, said police records showed the risk of a driver aged over 70 killing a pedestrian was less than that of middle-age drivers, and half that of drivers aged up to age 25.

It did find, however, that older drivers have a reduced ability to judge speed and their vision, reaction times and skills declined with age.