Drivers over 70 ‘disproportionately’ affected by road deaths

Older drivers above the age of 70 are at a higher risk with motorists in this age range “disproportionately” killed in road accidents.

Sergeant Rob Heard, an officer at Hampshire Constabulary and founder of the Older Drivers Forum said the elderly were “more likely” to suffer serious injury or deaths on UK roads.

Mr Heard warned this was likely down to two vital reasons which could be addressed by older road users and their families before disaster strikes.

Speaking to, he said: “Currently we have just around 5.9 million people aged 70 and above driving on our roads and that’s increasing by a quarter of a million every year.

“We have an ageing population and older drivers where people 70 and above account for 15 percent of all our licences held, 11 percent of all the miles driven but disproportionately 28 percent of all fatalities.

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“That sometimes is because they continue beyond their abilities but sometimes because of frailty.

“As we age, if we are involved in a collision we are much more likely to have a serious injury or even a fatality as a result of it.”

Earlier this year, a BBC Freedom of Information report found the number of people contacting the DVLA worried about a driver’s ability has dramatically increased.

A staggering 48, 754 notifications were reported to the licensing group last year.

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This was a staggering 82 percent increase on the 26,716 reports issued back in 2021.

In a massive blow, the DVLA received a massive 11,548 reports in just the first three months of 2023.

According to Sergeant Heard, it’s not just the risk of being killed which can change the life of an elderly driver.

Many have their lives turned upside down because of prosecutions caused by simple mistakes when behind the wheel.

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He added: “I was feeling with a vast number of fatalities and some of them involved older drivers. There was a particular one which involved an 89 year old driving the wrong way down a dual carriageway for over a mile.

“He was below the legal eyesight limit in one eye and had no sight in the other. Even though he was a retired GP he thought he was perfectly fit to drive

“Unfortunately, he had a head-on crash with a 28-year-old male and caused his death. We prosecuted the elderly driver for death by dangerous, they accepted a death by careless plea.”

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