Tuesday 25 October 2016

Why it is vital more mature drivers keep up to speed

Published 13/05/2015 | 02:30

Statistically, elderly drivers are among the safest on our roads. Photo: Getty Images.
Statistically, elderly drivers are among the safest on our roads. Photo: Getty Images.

WE hear so much about how risky some young drivers can be that we can easily overlook how many other motorists have let things slip over the years.

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I know there are times my driving isn't as good as it should be. I sense that within myself on occasion and work hard at improving it.

Driving isn't a completed state at any stage in our lives but I think lots of people feel it is.

Do not tell me your driving is of such a consistent standard that it couldn't do with a bit of refreshing. If you feel you are that good I'd love to meet you.

Even top drivers - and I was with one recently on a track in Spain - make mistakes. He was honest enough to admit he'd made a booboo on the first leg.

So let's admit we can all improve.

And then set about doing something.

I think that is important especially for those who are getting on in years and may feel a bit threatened by the volume and speed of traffic, new-fangled gadgets on cars and roundabouts.

Oh! dear me, roundabouts. It has been my distinct displeasure to witness every way NOT to negotiate a roundabout - at the Sandyford Industrial estate.

Anyway, I'm prompted to bring up the topic of a 'refresher' - again - by a campaign undertaken by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) in Britain.

It is to get more mature drivers, especially, to have their skills not so much checked out in a clinical way but to have someone give them a hands-on assessment.

They point out that, statistically, elderly drivers are among the safest on our roads and having a sort of 'check-up' of this nature would ensure they stay that way for many years.

The Mature Drivers Assessment (MDA) idea basically lets senior motorists take a 60-minute drive in their own car with an approved assessor who will "offer an impartial second opinion about their driving".

I think it would be a great idea. Is there a way of doing something similar here?

I'm sure there is something somewhere that offers or could offer a service of this nature.

I think elderly drivers in particular would get a great confidence boost from being shown where they could improve.

And being told they are still good drivers.

Or should such an assessment become part and parcel of a 'driver check-up' at certain intervals?

Do let me know what you think please at: ecunningham@independent.ie

Indo Motoring

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