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Grey Drivers Safest on Roads

 

Figures published by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) Motoring Trust turn on its head the myth that older drivers are more dangerous than others. In fact, a new IAM Trust publication reveals that drivers over the age of 70 are significantly safer than those under 30, and no greater risk to other road users than middle-aged drivers.


IAM Motoring Facts 2008, shows that as car drivers grow older they become less of a risk to other road users and less likely to be injured in road accidents themselves. However, any injuries they sustain are likely to be more severe due to age-related frailty.


Despite a doubling to 50 per cent over the past two decades in the level of those over 70 in Britain holding a licence, these drivers are responsible for just six per cent of pedestrian deaths. Male drivers under 30 are most likely to be in a fatal collision with a pedestrian and are responsible for 30 per cent of such deaths.


In the past 20 years, the percentage of all adults holding a driving licence has risen from 57 per cent to 72 per cent.


"All too often older drivers are criticised for poor driving standards and for being a danger on our roads," says Neil Greig, Director of the IAM Motoring Trust. "The statistics explode that myth. Older drivers have a wealth of motoring experience and knowledge and the vast majority self-regulate the extent of driving in relation to their ability."


Regional Lottery on Safety

In addition, IAM Motoring Facts 2008 reveals a stark variation in road safety expenditure by region in England with the highest spending region allocating over two and a half times the budget per kilometre of road than the lowest spending region. South West England spends just £273 on road safety per kilometre of road compared to the £722 spend per kilometre in the North West.


"The fact that safety on our roads comes down to a regional lottery on spending is totally unacceptable," says Neil Greig. "What is being spent on road safety is effective; we must ensure that it is applied consistently throughout the country."


The figures on road safety are included in IAM Motoring Facts 2008, the definitive reference guide to life on the UK's roads – now and over the last 50 years. Published today, it brings together data from vehicle manufacturers, government bodies and trade associations. It is available at www.iamtrust.org.uk


Regional comparisons (government office region) expenditure on roads and road safety spend

 

Region

Road

Lengths

(all roads)

km 2006

All road

expenditure

05-06

£ million

£/Km

all road expenditure

05-06

£million

£/km

revenue expenditure on road safety all roads 05-06

(% above/below avg)

 

North East

 

 

16,255

 

318.8

 

19,612

 

658 (+33.7%)

 

North West

 

 

37,142

 

799.3

 

21,520

 

722

(+47%)

 

Yorkshire &

the Humber

 

32,425

 

565.7

 

17,446

 

419

(-15%)

 

East Midlands

 

 

31,604

 

627.1

 

19,842

 

443

(-10%)

 

West

Midlands

 

33,292

 

718.8

 

21,590

 

424

(-14%)

 

East of England

 

40,081

 

781.6

 

19,500

 

439

(-11%)

 

South East

 

 

47,882

 

978.8

 

20,442

 

558

(+13%)

 

South West

 

 

50,483

 

781.5

 

15,480

 

273

(-45%)

England

Average excl London

 

36,145

 

696.5

 

19,429

 

 

492




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