Millions of motorists aged 65 and above are risking their own lives and the lives of other road users by choosing not to declare their medical conditions to the authorities, a new study reveals.
Research conducted by Direct Line Car Insurance found close to a third of older drivers have a medical condition such as visual impairment, heart condition or epilepsy which must be disclosed to authorities like the DVLA. However, nearly half of these drivers admit to keeping the authorities in the dark.
Of the drivers who failed to disclose their medical condition, the majority cite they feel it doesn’t affect their driving. New laws for drivers aged past 70 mandates they fill in a self-assessment form every three years, but critics are calling for tougher measures that include a medical test. There are currently over seven million drivers with a full licence aged 65 or over.
It is not just older drivers that choose to keep their medical history a secret, however, as the study also found that across the spectrum a quarter of drivers have a ‘notifiable condition’, yet 10 per cent choose to ignore the law and keep it hid from authorities. Failing to disclose important medical information to the DVLA could land a fine up to £1,000.
Gus Park, director of motor at Direct Line, said: “Regardless of age, drivers that have a notifiable or worsening medical condition or disability must disclose this to the DVLA and also to their insurer to stay within the law.
“Even those who feel their physical status won’t affect their driving must still disclose their condition, as failing to do so means they risk a hefty fine and even prosecution if they have an accident.”
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