Road worriers - older drivers now more at risk than young drivers

By Ben

An article which appeared in  The Daily Telegraph on 3/1/2012  reported that there has been a significant drop in teen driver fatality and a rise in older driver fatalities. The article referenced recently released statistics from the Federal Government.

The drop in teen driver fatalities for 17 to 25 age group dropped by 28% between 2008 and 2012. This improvement may be attributed to initiatives such as better training of learner drivers, passenger restrictions, a zero alcohol limit and harsher penalties.

On the other hand over the same five years there has been a 54 per cent increase in the deaths of road users aged between 60 and 69. This is concerning and some attention should be given to what steps can be taken to ensure that older drivers are safe drivers particular as health issues begin to take hold.

Senior driver refresher lessons are conducted by leading driving schools. Babar Chohan of  National Driving Academy   said that "we mainly see senior drivers referred by agencies or with a compulsory requirement to be assessed. On occassions we have provided driving reviews at the request of concerned children especially before a parent embarks on a holiday to visit distant family."

Specially accredited driving instructors are qualified to provide senior driver assessments in NSW.

National Driving Academy   has developed a 10 point guide which outlines our approach to and understanding of mature learners:

  1. Developing and maintaining confidence is our most important goal. Learners’ can rest easy knowing our driving school cars are fitted with dual controls and are 5-star safety rated. Our instructors progressively expand the teaching topics to meet the level of the learner and therefore build skills and knowledge gradually and confidently. Our instructors will never yell, be rude or show impatience towards a learner.
  2. We understand that the tuition must be tailored to the individual’s needs.  A one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate, especially for mature learners. 
  3. English as a second language can provide additional communication challenges and our instructors will always be patient to explain clearly what is required.
  4. We understand that practice opportunities between driving lessons may not always be available for mature learners.  This may slow progress and may impacttheir confidence levels .
  5. We strive to practice communication that is relevant to the learner; we don't talk down to them and we explain matters thoroughly.
  6. We understand that a learners’ partner may wish to attend one or more lessons to assist with practice or to just be comfortable with the instructor and the learning process.
  7. We understand that respect is paramount to a cooperative approach between the learner and driving instructor.
  8. After getting the learner to a safe level of driving ability, we will provide lessons in their own road worthy vehicle This will help increase the lessons’ relevance to the learner.
  9. We are flexible with start and ending locations to allow learners to start and finish lessons in different locations.  For example, a learner may choose to start at work and finish at a child care centre. Please note we cannot provide driving lessons with children in the car.
  10. We have convenient driving lesson times, including lessons starting at 7:00am as well as lessons on weekends and public holidays.  This will help learners with children and work commitments to fit lessons into their busy schedule.


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