Could driverless cars help get record numbers of banned elderly drivers back on the road?
Elderly drivers are having licences revoked on medical grounds leaving them without access to a car and relying on public transport or lifts from friends and family
Almost 60,000 elderly drivers have been stripped of their licences in the last five years – but new motoring technology could get them mobile again.
The era of driverless cars could help Brits who’ve had their licences revoked on medical grounds get back on the road.
Research by Direct Line Car Insurance found 15,290 drivers over the age of 75 had their licence taken away last year after being deemed unfit to drive due to a medical condition.
This number has increased by a massive 62 per cent since 2012, with a just under 60,000 pensioners taken off the road during the same time period.
Research showed older drivers would benefit from vehicles that could operate entirely without the need for human intervention.
It’d allow hundreds of thousands of aged motorists to get back behind the wheel.
Britain currently has 2.6 million people aged over 75 with a driving licence, but just two thirds of them still drive regularly.
The roll out of new technology could see almost one million over 75s who don’t use their cars back on UK roads.
The technology has also been hailed as a potential solution to the problem of social isolation for the elderly, as they would no longer be limited in where they could travel to meet friends and engage in social activities.
As many as 72 per cent of participants to Direct Line Car Insurance’s survey explained losing their drivers licence would mean a loss of independence, while more than half said it would limit their ability to see friends and family and lead to them feeling isolated and lonely.
Nick Reid, head of automotive technology at Direct Line, said: “Driverless car technology is making significant advances every day and we now live in an age where a future of self-driving cars is no longer viewed as science fiction.
“They have the potential to have a hugely positive impact on the lives of older generations who wish to retain their independence and social lives, but have mobility issues.
“This becomes all the more important when you consider that the number of older drivers is increasing faster than ever.”