For many older people, driving is crucial to their mobility and independence, especially for those who do not have ready access to public transport or the support of friends and family. To a point, age and experience generally contribute to lower risk risk levels but there comes a time in every motorist’s career when this trend reverses, with a combination of factors often conspiring to make driving more of a challenge. Physical health issues and deteriorating eyesight can reduce awareness and slow reaction times. Driving less frequently, rising traffic levels and impatient behaviour by other road users can all lead to feelings of increased vulnerability, reducing confidence in many older drivers.
Encouraging older drivers to maintain their mobility and independence is a priority for many local authorities, and Safer Roads Partnerships are always on the lookout for ways to support them in ensuring that they can do so as safely as possible.
Proactive support for older drivers
A pioneering partnership with Warwickshire County Council (WCC) is one brilliant example of how practical support can be provided to older drivers, who might be in need of an expert review of their driving skills, but who might otherwise be unaware of the help available to them.
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Following a successful pilot scheme in which a fully subsidised IAM RoadSmart Mature Driver Review was offered to local residents, WCC have obtained funding to allow them to subsidise the Review for a further 100 drivers. Our Mature Driver Review is an informal 1-hour session, which takes place on local roads in the delegate’s own vehicle, giving our instructor the opportunity to observe their driving and make individual recommendations for areas of improvement. It has been designed primarily to provide a confidence boost for nervous older drivers, but also to help them identify any areas in which they might benefit from a little extra development or guidance.
Working together for safer roads
One of the challenges for local Safer Roads Partnerships is in finding ways to provide practical help for vulnerable or higher-risk road users, and our Mature Driver Review is an example of just this type of service. WCC is making the Review available free of charge to a significant number of older drivers in the Warwickshire area, and promoting ongoing driver development to an audience that might never have realised that such help was available.
Alison Williams, Senior Road Safety Education Officer at WCC said: “We’ve got around 100 places that we’re subsidising because we feel this is such an important initiative…to give them the skills and the confidence to carry on driving for as long as it’s safe to do so.
“We decided to partner with IAM RoadSmart because of their reputation. Everybody knows about Advanced Motorists, and how important it is to have additional skills, and we just felt that IAM RoadSmart were right for Warwickshire residents.”
With our nationwide network of ADIs and examiners carrying out a range of driver assessments, not to mention our 185 volunteer groups delivering Advanced courses nationwide, a road safety initiative in partnership with IAM RoadSmart could be right for your local residents too. Successful initiatives such as Warwickshire’s, and the recent young driver development campaign in Lincolnshire, have inspired a new voucher scheme designed to make it easy for all local authorities and Safer Roads Partnerships to start similar activities targeting a range of age groups.
You can do the same in your local area with our voucher scheme:
IAM RoadSmart has made it incredibly convenient for a range of our courses and assessments to be made available to large groups of people via our voucher scheme. Course vouchers are available in packages to suit your requirements.
Register for more info and you can expect to hear from one of our team very soon.
Find out more about IAM RoadSmart Advanced Driver and Rider courses, our local groups and our other road safety activities