I read with interest recently two articles on the senior driver ‘Age does not translate to risk’ and ‘Driving assessment: be tough on yourself’.
I was surprised at the lack of mention of the deterioration of reflexes. It’s not so much about skill accrued over the years but about the slowing of reflexes and the slowing of awareness which has the potential to increase the likelihood of an accident. There is often held the belief that there are less accidents involving the older driver but this needs qualification. An article recently in the ‘Herald Sun’ (Melbourne) spoke of the increase in the figures of accidents in 2012 for older drivers. Older drivers most probably on the whole drive less kilometres, but even that would need clarifying. It’s not a matter of discrimination, but of road safety that all drivers could do with periodic testing, especially concerning their reflex ability and hazard perception skills. Young drivers are now expected to do much more training than in the past with 120 logbook hours to be done. Health checks should also be done for all ages, as is done for all public vehicle drivers etc. So it is that we all need to take a more responsible view, not just use the discrimination line.