A government-backed report has suggested that roundabouts should replace T-junctions to save elderly drivers.
The Older Drivers Task Force has warned that road policies must be adapted to reflect the UK’s aging population.
Suggestions that T-junctions should be scrapped come after studies showed that people over 75 are twice as likely to be killed using them than younger motorists.
The study said: “Given that the percentage of serious accidents at T-junctions increases significantly with age after 65, and that this does not happen at roundabouts, it would be worth studying the value of installing mini-roundabouts at busy T-junctions with little or no change to the kerb lines.”
Changing the road layout in this way would make it easier for the elderly to know when they should pull out and slows the traffic around them. Over-75s are more at-risk of injury pulling out of T-junctions as they have worse reactions, judgement and eyesight.
The report has a number of other pensioner-friendly suggestions, including segregated slip roads, wider white lines separating carriageways, more traffic lights at crossroads and larger lettering on road signs. Another recommendation by the Task Force is that the automatic requirement for drivers to notify the DVLA at age 70 of any medical condition should be raised to 75. It also suggests making an eye test compulsory at the same age.
The report came to these conclusions on the basis that “there is no convincing evidence today that drivers in the 70-75 age group present a general risk justifying this requirement.”
However, deteriorating eyesight is a danger, as it acknowledges that nearly 70 per cent of elderly drivers offered driving assessments instead of police prosecution require eyesight correction.
The Older Drivers Task Force’s report was commissioned as the number of drivers aged over 70 will almost double to 8.5 million in the next 20 years.
After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.
July 4, 2016