Gransnet forums

AIBU to think that driving at 97 is a tad unreasonable?

(198 Posts)
JessM Thu 17-Jan-19 18:54:44

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46912691 Apparently Prince Philip had a road accident today and is unhurt. It's a blessing that nobody else was injured. Trouble is that there is nothing (other than relatives) to prevent a 97 year old from continuing to drive. I would favour eyesight tests being made compulsory from 70. And some sort of cognitive assessment every 5 years after 80. Otherwise drivers can just keep certifying themselves as fit to drive, each time their driving licence comes up for renewal. Some people have the sense to know when it's time to hang up the car keys and others, evidently, don't.

Parsley3 Thu 17-Jan-19 18:58:30

I wonder where he was going. Down the shops?

MawBroon Thu 17-Jan-19 19:00:36

Sorry - this thread hadn’t been started when I posted.
Great minds?

Telly Thu 17-Jan-19 19:01:55

I agree. I know of people who are driving in their 90s with dementia. Apparently there's nothing to stop them and their relatives don't want them to lose their independence but I would have thought that the risk to themselves and others was just too great.

kittylester Thu 17-Jan-19 19:04:59

Now, a dementia diagnosis triggers a notification to the DVLA. They then refer to the gp. If someone has their licence revoked, they can ask to take an assessment.

merlotgran Thu 17-Jan-19 19:12:07

Was there a protection officer with him?

Jalima1108 Thu 17-Jan-19 19:29:54

Yes, I think so merlotgran
I wonder if they worry for their safety when he drives, or is he normally competent?

merlotgran Thu 17-Jan-19 19:36:18

I know he and the Queen regularly drive around the royal estates but should they be on public roads? No matter how competent I don't think they will have the experience of regular drivers who have had to deal with traffic situations for many years.

Maybe this is why the younger Royals like to drive themselves whenever possible. There's a lot to keep up with in terms of confidence and experience.

M0nica Thu 17-Jan-19 19:50:31

Why shouldn't they be driving if they have got licences? and I am sure that if prince Philip was no longer safe to drive he would be told so by a senior police officer. I am sure if any of the younger members of the Royal family with police protection were to try and drunk drive the protection officers would step in.

As the RAC pointed out, if people are to be banned from the road on an age basis, it should be men under 25, who had passed their test less than six months ago.

My father was still driving at 92. He regularly drove the 70 plus miles between his home and ours, including on motorways. The only accident he had was on a notoriously dangerous slip road, too short and encompassing a sharp bend. He was one of hundreds who had an accident there and the road has now been rebuilt to a different configuration.

I do think after 80 a brief medical and eye test every 2 years would be a good idea, but again, as the RAC said, many older drivers deliberately restrict their driving to keep within their own limits - not driving at night, not on motorways or only certain limited routes they know well.

Lily65 Thu 17-Jan-19 19:53:16

The only way I stopped my father from driving was after several attempts with the DVLA. He was an absolute liability . It was heartbreaking.

lemongrove Thu 17-Jan-19 19:59:40

Parsley perhaps he fancied a Toblerone. grin

It is strange that there isn’t a medical and eye test after a certain age.

Iam64 Thu 17-Jan-19 21:00:11

I can't imagine either his wife, children, grandchildren to police protection officers would find it easy to tell that particular 97 year old he shouldn't be driving

the two occupants if the other car suffered minor injuries. will there be a police investigation.

eazybee Thu 17-Jan-19 21:21:35

Prince Philip will have had eye tests, and it is the responsibility of his optician to inform the DVLA if his eyesight could affect his driving. I think it is more likely to be the speed of his reactions that is at fault, and that is difficult to prove. My father was furious when he was prevented from driving, age 92, but he wasn't safe.

EllanVannin Thu 17-Jan-19 21:25:27

He's been breathalysed.

merlotgran Thu 17-Jan-19 21:28:08

So was the woman driving the other car. Both negative.

M0nica Thu 17-Jan-19 21:41:54

Well, of course he has, its is standard practice after any accident involving the police.

Charleygirl5 Thu 17-Jan-19 21:55:48

I go to the eye clinic 6 monthly and I would soon be told if I could no longer drive. I go to an optician annually and ditto. I think I am well monitored. I am 75.

FountainPen Thu 17-Jan-19 22:19:30

Reports say he was pulling out of a lane onto the main road.

The pictures show the Range Rover on its side opposite where he pulled out. The other vehicle is facing into the ditch next to his vehicle. Conditions were said to be good.

I think he's pulled out unexpectedly and at speed in front of the vehicle coming from his right. It takes some doing to tip over a heavy vehicle like that. My guess? That it's an automatic. Instead of braking at the junction he's hit the accelerator.

Locally, there have been two accidents like this in the last few years. Both were elderly male drivers in powerful automatics. One was pulling away from outside a shop, took out a metal safety fence and tipped his car headlong into a river. The car was sinking fast in the deep water. He would have drowned had brave passers-by not jumped in and managed to get the door open before the weight of the water prevented that.

In the other accident, the man shot out of a car park across a village green with such speed that he hit and took out a lamppost which fell across a busy pavement.

My point is that some people opt for automatics as they get older but is that really a safer option? Wasn't there a case last year of an older women who had just bought an automatic and accidentally drove it through a marquee full of people? Police found a note in the car reminding her how to drive it. Foot on brake etc.

agnurse Thu 17-Jan-19 22:26:19

It would be very hard to set an age for testing or for revoking licenses. My father's godmother is 100 years old and drives. She's a very energetic 100. (Dad said 20 years ago that she should bottle her energy and sell it.) I have met someone in his early 60s who has Alzheimer's and people even younger with traumatic brain injuries. While it is true that reflexes and to a certain extent cognition slow with age, it's very difficult to determine an average point at which they slow enough to require testing.

M0nica Thu 17-Jan-19 23:10:25

Yes, very elderly people have accidents and hit the headlines every time, but they are still have one of the lowest accident rates of any age group.

I think a lot of this discussion is very Ageist. If we attack ourselves in ageist terms, we can hardly complain if others do.

MawBroon Thu 17-Jan-19 23:18:58

M0nica can you give any statistics on the rate of accidents per driver above, say, 70 or 75 not per head of population as many older people self-select out of driving as they become less able or less confident.

BlueBelle Thu 17-Jan-19 23:29:52

It’s nothing to do with ageism it’s facts, would you allow a 14 year old to be driving on main roads of course not there’s a reason there’s a starting age and there should be a finishing age too No 97 yr old, however fit can be as sharpe or as strong as they were or as they need to be

Jalima1108 Fri 18-Jan-19 00:27:08

2017 Car Drivers involved in accidents:

Under 17106
17-194,744
20-2410,688
25-2911,541
30-3411,248
35-399,453
40-4916,674
50-5913,563
60-697,876
70 and over7,424
Age not reported5,670

www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/ras20-drivers-riders-and-vehicles-in-reported-road-accidents

Jalima1108 Fri 18-Jan-19 00:34:21

sorry, that doesn't seem to have posted very well, I will try to amend it.

Car drivers
Under 17 106
17-19 4,744
20-24 10,688
25-29 11,541
30-34 11,248
35-39 9,453
40-49 16,674
50-59 13,563
60-69 7,876
70 and over 7,424
Age not reported5,670

Lesley60 Fri 18-Jan-19 01:23:14

What I find unacceptable in the media is the lack of concern for the people in the other car, it was reported that they went to hospital with minor injuries.
I just hope they are not out of pocket, I definitely think Prince Phillip shouldn’t be driving as he has numerous drivers at his disposal unlike the rest of us, maybe it’s time this pig headed man thoughtof others.