SWOV Catalogus


Maintaining safe mobility for the ageing population : the role of the private car.
C 49521 [electronic version only] /72 /91 / ITRD E146503
Box, E. Gandolfi, J. & Mitchell, K.
London, RAC Foundation for Motoring, 2010, VII + 162 p., 220 ref.

Samenvatting The UK's ageing population is having a fast growing impact on the provision of all services, including transport. Today 16 per cent of the UK's population is over the age of 65, and by 2033 it is predicted that older people will make up almost a quarter of all UK residents. This increase will be proportionately greater amongst the 'oldest old': those aged 85 and above. The effect of these changes on the nation's driving habits will be significant. There is no evidence to suggest that older people's desire to travel will decline at the same rate as their ability to drive or to find other options. In fact, a loss of independent mobility in old age can lead to mental and physical decline, which burdens both the individual and society. There is a great deal that can be achieved through vehicle design to improve the safety of older motorists, passengers and pedestrians. Changes may range from accounting for the greater frailty of the ageing population,through intelligent airbag and seatbelt designs, to making the physical and cognitive requirements of driving less demanding. Developments such as rear-view monitors, blind spot mirrors and automatic parking are also proving helpful. Ergonomic design, which allows easy access to vehicles for older drivers and their passengers, will be an increasingly important design consideration as the older market grows. Reducing headlight glare from new vehicles will also be needed as the number of older drivers with age-related eyesight concerns increases on UK roads. 'Self-explaining' roads which include perceptual cues are needed. For this to be achieved, guidance similar to that already available in the United States would need to be developed. Improvements that would specifically help reduce collisions involving older drivers include: _ traffic signals at junctions; _ clear and unambiguous signage; lower risk traffic control devices such as roundabouts at identified risky junctions; reduced speed limits on priority roads approaching high-risk junctions; high contrast white lines; increased luminance of signs; and larger road signs. If an older driver is no longer able to drive or decides to retire from driving, it is vital that the service delivery options and alternative transport modes are in place to support this change. Changes are also in progress for pension payments, which will encourage a large proportion of the population to work beyond the traditional retirement age. Today seven out of ten people travel to work by car. The implications of this working life change on transport are clear. The full text of this study may be found at: http://www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/maintaining%20safe%20mobility%20-%20rac%20foundation%20-%20140410%20-%20report.pdf
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