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Number of drivers aged over 90 tops 100,000 for first time – BBC News

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Media captionResearch suggests drivers over 70 have fewer crashes than younger men

The number of people aged over 90 holding a driving licence in Britain has topped 100,000 for the first time.

Figures from the DVLA also show more than 4.5 million of the 39 million people holding valid driving licences are aged over 70.

Older drivers are required to fill in a self-assessment every three years declaring they are medically fit to continue driving.

Research suggests the view that older drivers pose a danger is unfounded.

A Swansea University study in 2016 revealed drivers aged 70 are involved in three to four times fewer accidents than men aged between 17-21.

Professor Charles Musselwhite, from the Centre for Innovative Ageing, who undertook the study, said: “We’ve looked at those statistics in depth and we don’t think that as a cohort older drivers are any more dangerous than other road users.”

Ninety-four-year-old Myfanwy, from Leeds, said driving gave her independence.

“It’s a wonderful benefit and you know I live at the bottom of two hills so I really have got to have transport.

“You need plenty of confidence to stay alert and your eyesight has got to be good.”

Image caption At the age of 94 Myfanwy is one of a growing number of drivers over 90 years old

The report of the independent Older Drivers’ Taskforce, published in July 2016, 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.

That prompted 87-year-old Bob Barrett, from North Yorkshire, to take several driving refresher courses offered by his county council.

“I am getting older, my reactions are perhaps getting slower and I thought it was time,” he said.

“I want to feel happier with my driving and that other people are happy with it too.

“Driving helps to keep my independence and I’d like to keep that as long as I can, so long as I can do it safely.”

TOTAL NUMBER OF DRIVERS IN GREAT BRITAIN AGED OVER 80
AGE RANGE MALE FEMALE TOTAL
80 TO 89 745,292 471,256 1,216,548
90 AND OVER 74,564 34,213 108,777
TOP THREE AREAS WITH HIGHEST NUMBER OF DRIVERS BETWEEN 80 AND 89
AREA MALE FEMALE TOTAL
GREATER LONDON 54,465 31,194 85,659
HAMPSHIRE 26,874 18,693 45,567
WEST MIDLANDS 27,415 14,465 41,880
TOP THREE AREAS WITH HIGHEST NUMBER OF DRIVERS OVER 90
AREA MALE FEMALE TOTAL
GREATER LONDON 5,890 2,455 8,345
HAMPSHIRE 2,905 1,552 4,457
WEST MIDLANDS 2,750 979 3,729

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-40715377

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