Driving Safer For Longer

Mature drivers have a wealth of driving experience which means they are likely to be more tolerant and confident drivers. Our Driving safer for longer workshop aims to help them to continue to enjoy driving.

These workshops are completely free and there is no need to phone to book a place. Simply turn up on the day, and enjoy the informative and useful two hour presentation and discussion.

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Following the success of our previous workshops around the county, we are now planning some new venues. If you or someone you know would be interested in a Driving Safer for Longer workshop in your area, or for a particular group (such as Women's Institute or the University of the 3rd Age) then please contact the Road Safety team using the contact details shown on this page.

We are currently planning future Driving Safer for Longer workshops around Cornwall, but if you would like one in your area, then please email us at prevention@fire.cornwall.gov.uk. Ideally, we require a minimum of eight people.

The workshops can be followed by individual practical drives during which friendly instructors provide tailored feedback and advice. This is undertaken from your home address, in your own vehicle, on routes that you know well, and lasts a maximum of 90 minutes. A charge of £28 is payable direct to the instructor for this service.

Why are we doing this?

Statistics show that more experienced drivers are less likely than others to be in a collision involving alcohol or speeding. However, as a driver becomes older, their risk of being involved in a collision at a junction due to misinterpreting information does increase. From the age of 60 the risk increases steadily.

By the age of 75 drivers are at least twice as likely to be involved in a collision compared to when they were in their fifties. This is because many of the skills we need to drive are affected as we get older.

It is important to recognise that as you age your driving will be affected. The good news is that by changing the way you drive just slightly, you should be able to carry on driving - and enjoying it - safely for longer.

Although everyone is different, the following changes are likely:

  • Reaction times get slower.
  • Making decisions takes longer.
  • Driving is more tiring and more stressful.
  • Eyesight and hearing will not be as sharp.
  • Greater need for medicine or drugs.
  • Overall agility decreases.

When you are buying a new or second-hand car, there are some features you could consider that might make driving easier for you:

  • Power-assisted steering and automatic gear changing, as they require less physical strength.
  • Clear rather than tinted glass windows allow the driver to see better.
  • Easy access to and from the car will help if you have restricted mobility.
  • Good all round visibility.
  • Comfortable and easily adjustable seats.

In some cases it may be necessary to have your vehicle adapted.

When does my driving licence expire?

A driving licence is valid until a driver's 70th birthday. After this it will be renewed upon application, at three-yearly intervals, as long as the driver makes a self-declaration of fitness to drive. The renewal period is less for people with certain medical conditions.

Why focus on older drivers?

Each year approximately 1,000 collisions in Cornwall involve drivers over the age of 65. However, it is important to stress that older age should not be linked with bad driving, although it may impair driving ability.

I think some of my family are worried about my ability to drive safely. What should I do?

Contact the Road Safety team who can put you in touch with friendly driving instructors who deliver the Driving Safer for Longer scheme. The aim is to allow Cornish people to continue driving for as long as possible, as safely as possible.

I am a GP and one of my patients has concerns about driving. What can I do?

Write to Road Safety at the address shown on this page (a letter as an email attachment is acceptable) requesting a RoadFit assessment. The format of this assessment is outlined at the top of this page. Give the patient's full contact information and the reason that it has been decided that a RoadFit assessment is required. No medical information is necessary, just an indication of what the problem is: slow reactions/reflexes, confidence etc. We will then contact the patient direct to make arrangements. Once the assessment has been undertaken, a report written by the driving instructor will be sent directly to you, a copy of which will have been given to the patient on the day of the assessment. This then allows you and your patient to decide upon the best course of action (if any). The fee payable to the instructor at the time of the assessment is £28.00

It is not the purpose of the Driving Safer for Longer initiative to deal with anyone who has a medical condition that must be reported to DVLA . Your doctor will be aware of this list of conditions. Driving instructors will not have any role regarding your driving licence. In rare cases where a driver’s condition is considered very dangerous, then he or she will be told and expected to pass this information to the doctor or DVLA.

For further information, or to arrange your free Driving Safer for Longer workshop, contact Cornwall Council road safety on 0300 1234 222 or email prevention@fire.cornwall.gov.uk