Refresher Driver Training Tips

Perhaps you are someone who does not drive very often, retired, only drives on a Sunday out in to the Country, or to/from the shops, or even a visit to relatives, have you considered a ‘Refresher’ driving session?

There was a Police Driving TV programme recently that showed the Police, at a local shopping precinct, spot checking people over 70 years of age to see if they could read a number plate at a distance of 20.5 metres. It showed that most people checked, could not even read the number plate!!

Are you one of these people…..?

Driving tips for older people:

Once you have passed your driving test, providing that you stay in good health or don’t get disqualified, you are generally entitled to keep driving until you reach your 70th birthday. When you first get your licence, especially if you pass at a young age, then this can seem quite some way off. However, there are a large number of drivers who continue to drive beyond the age of 70 – indeed, figures from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) puts the figure at around three million drivers.

What happens when you reach 70 and your licence expires? Well, there is a considerable myth that when this happens, all drivers have to retake their driving tests in order to get a new licence and keep on driving. This actually couldn’t be further from the truth – if you are 70, you don’t have to take a test, all you have to do is renew your licence.

Renewing your licence: There is no legal age at which you have to stop driving, so whether you renew your licence is totally up to the individual. It is your responsibility to decide whether you are still fit enough to drive. By law, you have to renew your licence when you reach the age of 70, and then every three years after that. Ninety days before your 70th birthday, the DVLA should send you a D46P Application for renewal of a driving licence. You can either fill this in and return it by post, or you can use the DVLA’s online service to renew. There is no fee for renewal. If you have a C1 or D1 entitlement – for minibuses or towing vehicles – and you intend to renew this as well, you must enclose a D4 ‘medical examination report’ completed by a doctor in support of your application.

Keep a watch on your health: All drivers, no matter how old they are, must notify the DVLA of the onset or worsening of a medical condition which may affect their ability to drive safely.

The medical conditions are listed in the DVLA’s leaflet What you need to know about driving licences and include:

  • Heart Conditions
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Certain Eye Conditions
  • Problems using limbs in a way that will affect the ability to drive

You might want to remember that it is illegal to drive if you can’t read a number plate from 20.5 metres away – so if you wear glasses, you need to make sure that your prescription is up to date and allows you to do this.

Are you still a good driver? As people get older, it’s possible that they have developed what might be considered ‘bad habits’ – after all, if you are 70 and passed your test when you were 25, it’s been a long time since your driving was professionally assessed.

Case Study: A driver assessment was recently carried out by AHD Driver Training Ltd for a 73 year old man. He was an experienced driver, and had experience of driving many different cars over the years. On his driver assessment he rarely checked the door mirrors, only checking the centre, and straightlined at roundabouts. He wore varifocal glasses but did not wear varifocal sunglasses and found that driving on the assessment with the sun positioned low in the sky, caused great glare in all of the mirrors, especially when needing to use the mirrors when overtaking on the motorway… not very helpful! On the motorway he said that he preferred to drive at around 60 mph as he felt it would give him more fuel economy and also with his age, he said that his reactions would be alot slower when pulling out to overtake. He had also found it difficult to reverse into a bay, with difficultly in turning round to the left, and also wearing varifocal glasses did not help either when trying to look into the rear left hand corner of the vehicle to park. On approaching roundabouts, TS approached quite fast, and meant that 1st gear was selected when over the give way line, rather than planning for correct use of gears on the approach. TS informed me that he had encountered an accident a few years ago, which was his fault, whilst driving onto a roundabout. Overall, TS drove confidently, and was given pointers as to how he could improve his driving techniques and with an overall view of being safe, which had always been the main purpose of the driver assessment.

Testimonial of TS:

‘I have learnt about some mistakes in my driving, and mark Anita, my Instructor, as follows’:

How would you rate your Driving Instructor? Excellent
Was your Driving Instructor patient and helpful? Excellent
Was the Driving Instructor punctual for your lesson? Yes
How would you rate your Driving Instructor’s communication skills? Excellent
Did the Driver Training meet your needs? Yes
Did you find the driving lessons enjoyable? Yes
Would you recommend your Driving Instructor to your friends and family? Yes

Have you considered having a ‘Refresher’ driver training session to see just how safe YOU are on the road?

Telephone 07983 881013 for an informal chat – don’t delay, phone today……!!