RoSPA Life On The Road Logo

Life on the Road

All drivers have a responsibility for the safety of themselves and others

Did you know…

Life On the Road Infographic
Life On the Road Infographic
Life On the Road Infographic
Life On the Road Infographic

That’s why RoSPA has developed the Life on the Road campaign.

We want to help all drivers in this age group update their skills and knowledge, to help them keep themselves and others safe on the road for the whole of their lives.

What is the campaign?

Driving is an essential part of life for most people, and we don’t want anyone to give up unless it’s absolutely necessary. So throughout the campaign, we’ll be providing information and training opportunities for all drivers aged 65 and over in Scotland.

What can I do?

If you want to update your skills, boost your confidence, or demonstrate to your relatives just how good your driving is, then take one of our assessments. Our experienced assessors will talk you through any aspects of your driving that could be improved, and how to do this. During the campaign there are a limited number of free assessments available – see below for date, location and booking details.

Or if you’re looking for information, check out, download or print out our simple advice and guidance below. In these documents there are details on everything from what to do if you’re worried about your eyesight, to the age that you reach when you need to renew your driving licence. For any queries, call our friendly information service on 0121 248 2130.

Assessment days

We’re holding three assessment days as part of the campaign, where we’ll be providing a limited number of experienced driver assessments:

 February 24, 2020

 10:00 - 16:00

 New Park Farm
Whitemyres,Lang Stracht,
Aberdeen,
AB15 6AX

 February 25, 2020

 10:00 - 16:00

 Melville Nursery,
Lasswade,
Midlothian,
EH18 1AZ

 February 26, 2020

 10:00 - 16:00

 75 Kings Inch Drive,
Renfrew,
Glasgow,
G51 4FB

Book now

  To check availability and book, call 0121 248 2099.

If you miss out on one of our free slots, don’t worry! Experienced driver assessments are available all year round for a small fee – just call the number to book.

Advice and guidance

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    When do I need to renew my driving licence?

    How to Renew Your Driving Licence, Medical Declaration, Your New Driving Licence, Insurance

    When you reach 70 your driving licence will expire, so you’ll need to renew it if you want to continue driving. You then need to renew it every three years thereafter.

    The DVLA will send you a reminder and an application form as your 70th birthday approaches, and then every three years afterwards when your licence is due for renewal.

    If you do not renew your licence, you will not legally be allowed to drive after your 70th birthday. If you carry on driving, your licence and motor insurance would not be valid and you would be committing a serious offence which carries stringent penalties, potentially meaning a heavy fine and having your car seized.

    When you receive your new licence, don’t forget to keep it in a safe place and dispose of your expired licence.

    How to Renew Your Driving Licence

    It’s free to renew your licence, which you can either do online or by post.

    Online

    You can renew your driving licence online for free if you're 70 or over, or if your 70th birthday is within 90 days. You'll be given a user ID code and instructions on how to renew.

    By post

    The DVLA will send you a D46P application form 90 days before your 70th birthday, and then every three years afterwards. Complete the form and return it to the DVLA. If you haven't got the D46P form, you can use a 'D1 application for a driving licence form', which you can pick up from a Post Office.

    You will need to send a new passport-type photo with your application form.

    Postal applications take up to three weeks.

    Medical Declaration

    When completing the form to renew your licence you will be asked to declare any medical conditions you have, and confirm that you meet the eyesight standards for driving. You must answer these questions honestly. It is a serious offence not to declare a condition or disability that might affect your driving; you can be fined up to £1,000, and if you are involved in a crash you may be prosecuted.

    It is a very good idea to have a medical check before renewing your licence when you reach, and again each time your licence is renewed.

    Your New Driving Licence

    When you receive your new driving licence, check the details carefully. For example, if the code 01 is shown on the back of your photocard licence, you will need to wear prescription glasses or contact lenses when you drive.

    Read any letter or leaflet that comes with your licence carefully. For example, it may say that you can continue to drive as before, or it may say that you have been given a temporary driving licence only for use during a Mobility Centre driving assessment.

    Insurance

    You must of course be insured to drive. It's essential to be open and honest with your motor insurer and make sure that they know about any health condition that might affect your driving.

    Failing to inform your insurer of a relevant fact could invalidate your insurance.

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    Common health conditions that affect driving

    Eyesight, Dementia, Arthritis, Hearing, Heart Disease, Medications, Stroke, Parkinson’s Disease

    Eyesight

    Most people experience deteriorating eyesight in one form or another as they get older, either as a natural part of ageing or because we develop an eye disease such as cataracts, and can affect us in different ways.

    Poor eyesight can make it harder to see road signs and markings, pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists, especially in the dark. It can be more difficult to judge someone else's speed or distance, and it can slow our reaction time. This can result in braking or taking avoiding action too late, or even not seeing something or someone completely.

    The Rules

    In good daylight, you must be able to read a car number plate (made after September 1, 2001) from a distance of 20 metres, while wearing glasses or contact lenses if necessary.

    If you need glasses or contact lenses to drive, you must wear them at all times when driving.

    You must report any condition that affects both eyes and vision (except long or short sight or colour blindness) to the DVLA, using form V1. This does not necessarily mean you will lose your licence – an assessment of your vision will be made.

    If the DVLA says you can carry on driving, consider taking a driving assessment, and take a look at the advice in Keep Driving and Your Car to see what can help you to adapt your driving.

    It is strongly recommended that all drivers have an eyesight test at an opticians every two years, or more often if the optician advises.

    Avoid wearing glasses with tinted lenses, unless advised to do so by your optician or ophthalmologist. Tinted lenses reduce the amount of light available to the eye, and are not recommended for driving, especially at night or in poor visibility.

    Further details can be found at Driving Eyesight Rules and Eyesight.

    Dementia

    Dementia can lead to slower response times, failing memory and confusion. Some common driving problems are: forgetting familiar routes; getting confused between the pedals; failing to give way; responding slowly to directions or instructions; or being confused by complex situations and stopping unexpectedly when there is no need.

    The Rules

    You must tell the DVLA if you suffer from dementia, using form CG1.

    Consult your doctor or another health professional and follow their advice about whether it is safe for you to drive.

    If your doctor or the DVLA says you can carry on driving, consider taking a driving assessment and take a look at whether the advice in Keep Driving and Your Car can help you to adapt your driving.

    Further information

    Advice and help for people with dementia is available from:

    Dementia UK
    0800 888 6678
    info@dementiauk.org

    Arthritis

    Arthritis (and other musculoskeletal conditions) can affect a driver's mobility and physical strength, motor skills and co-ordination. This can make it harder to use the vehicle's controls or, for example, to turn your head to maintain all-round visibility.

    The Rules

    You only need to tell the DVLA that you have arthritis if you use special adaptive vehicle controls.

    Consult your doctor or another health professional about driving and follow their advice. Consider whether a driving assessment or vehicle adaptations would make driving easier and safer for you.

    A wide range of equipment is available including steering aids, hand controls, special cushions, swivel seats to help you get in and out of the car, hoists to lift you and your wheelchair if you use one, and driving accessories. Contact Driving Mobility (formerly known as the Forum of Mobility Centres), Motability or Rica for advice.

    The DVLA can refer drivers to a mobility centre for an assessment (which the DVLA will pay for) or you could book an assessment at a mobility centre yourself, which will probably be quicker but you would have to pay for it. See Find a Driver Assessment for details of your nearest mobility centre.

    Further information

    Advice and help for people with arthritis is available from:

    Arthritis Care
    0808 800 4050
    info@arthritiscare.org.uk

    Heart Disease

    Heart problems can cause dizziness, fainting or blackouts. If you lost consciousness while driving, you would lose control of your vehicle and crash almost immediately. This puts you and other at risk, especially pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

    The Rules

    Stop driving, and only drive again when your doctor says it’s safe to do so.

    Your doctor will also tell you whether you need to report your condition to the DVLA. Follow your doctor’s advice.

    If the DVLA says you can drive again, consider taking a driving assessment, and take a look at the advice in Keep Driving and Your Car.

    Further information

    Advice and help about heart disease is available from:

    DVLA leaflet INF 188/4 and Health Conditions and Driving

    British Heart Foundation
    0300 330 3322
    supporterservices@bhf.org.uk

    Hearing

    Hearing impairments can affect our ability to detect and respond to important audible information such as sirens, horns, engine and tyre problems, road sounds, and other traffic and road users. This might mean reacting late in a hazardous situation, which would increase the risk of crashing.

    The Rules

    You do not need to tell the DVLA, but you should consult your doctor or a hearing specialist, and follow their advice.

    However, consider taking a driving assessment and take a look at the advice in Keep Driving and Your Car.

    Medications

    Some prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines can affect driving. It can be difficult to predict whether a medicine will affect your ability to drive, and if so, how and for how long. Drinking alcohol with some medicines makes their effect on your driving even worse.

    It is illegal to drive if unfit to do so because of drugs or medicine; it is also illegal to drive with certain medicines in your blood above specified limits. For more detail see Rule 96 of the Highway Code, Think Road Safety and Drug Driving.

    The Rules

    Check with your doctor or pharmacist whether any medication you are taking is likely to affect your ability to drive safely, and whether you should drive at all. Do not drive if you are advised that you may be impaired. Ask if there is an alternative medication, but if there is not, take the medicine as prescribed but do not drive.

    However, it is very important that you take any medications that you have been prescribed, in the way you should take them (the correct dosage, timing) and follow any advice, such as avoiding alcohol.

    Consider taking a driving assessment and take a look at the advice in Keep Driving and Your Car.

    Stroke

    Strokes affect the supply of oxygen to the brain, and can lead to sudden loss of consciousness. If this happened while you were driving, you would lose control of your vehicle and crash almost immediately. This puts you and other people at risk, especially pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

    The Rules

    Stop driving, and only drive again when your doctor says it’s safe to do so.

    Your doctor will also tell whether you need to report your condition to the DVLA. Follow your doctor's advice.

    If the DVLA says you can drive again, consider taking a driving assessment, and take a look at the advice in Keep Driving and Your Car.

    Further information

    Advice and help about strokes is available from:

    Stroke Association
    0303 3033 100
    info@stroke.org.uk

    Parkinson’s Disease

    Parkinson's disease can compromise a driver's motor, visual spatial, information processing, attention, and decision-making functions. Drivers with Parkinson's disease have more difficulty with manoeuvres such as maintaining lane position, turning, steering and speed control.

    The Rules

    You must tell DVLA if you have Parkinson's disease, using form PK1.

    Consult your doctor or another health professional and follow their advice about whether it is safe for you to drive.

    If the DVLA says you can carry on driving, consider taking a driving assessment, and take a look at the advice in Keep Driving and Your Car.

    Further information

    Advice and help for people with Parkinson's is available from:

    Parkinson's UK Scotland
    0344 225 3724
    scotland@parkinsons.org.uk

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    How do I know if I should stop driving?

    What factors should I think about? What if it’s time to give up?

    Giving up your driving licence can be very difficult, but remember that if you are involved in an accident that was caused or partly caused by your health and fitness to drive, you could face prosecution and your insurance might be cancelled. Even worse, you might injure, or even kill, yourself or another person.

    Reaching the decision to give up driving is not easy because access to a car provides independence and mobility. But this must be balanced against the risk to yourself and other road users if you continue to drive when it is no longer safe.

    You must stop driving if the DVLA has told you to stop.

    You must also stop driving if your doctor has advised you to stop. Your doctor will have thought long and hard before doing this, and will only advise you to stop driving if they are certain it is no longer safe.

    If you have not been told to stop driving but you, or a family member or friend, are concerned about your driving and think that it may be time for you to stop, discuss this with your doctor.

    More details on what to do are available at Surrendering Your Driving Licence.

    What factors should I think about?

    The self-assessment checklist may help you to decide whether it is time to think about retiring from driving. As a general guide it may be time to give up if:

    • You feel less confident, and worry more, about driving than you used to
    • You get lost on roads that you know well
    • Your reactions are noticeably slower than they used to be
    • You find it difficult to judge speed and distance
    • You have had a number of near misses lately
    • Your passengers are concerned about your driving
    • You have a medical condition that might affect your driving
    • Your eyesight is getting worse.

    You could also take a driving assessment to help you decide.

    What if it’s time to give up?

    Retiring from driving does not mean that you will lose your freedom and mobility, as there are many alternatives to driving.

    It may even make good financial sense to use your money for other ways of getting about, rather than owning and running a car, especially if you drive less than 2,000 miles a year.

    Use the Cost Calculator to estimate how much it costs you to run your car and how much you would need to spend on public transport if you sold it, to work out roughly whether it would make financial sense to do so.

    See Alternatives to Driving for further advice.

    More information is available at:

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