Welcome to lifelongdriving.org

Background

Traffic collisions result in over one million fatalities per year worldwide. While Great Britain is one of the safest places in the world to drive, the last recorded year of 2010 reported 1850 fatalities. When seriously injured people are included, this figure rises to a staggering 24,510.

Certain groups of road users are consistently over-represented in these statistics, including young, novice drivers, and motorcyclists. There have been a number of initiatives over the last decade to target these sub-groups of road users. Motorcycle tests have been changed with a view to increasing competence on the road, and several advertising campaigns have sought to modify car drivers’ behaviour in the presence of motorcyclists. The driving test has undergone many changes as well. In 2002 the Government introduced a mandatory hazard perception test as a stage in gaining a driving license. More recently ‘independent driving’ was introduced in 2010. While these interventions target very specific sub-groups of road users, drivers from all walks of life are involved in traffic collisions. Even experienced drivers have a substantial number of collisions, yet little is done to help this group, who make up the majority of drivers, to reduce their crash risk.

The problem lies with the culture of driving. Most people will pass their driving test before they reach the age of twenty, yet the vast majority will never seek out any further learning after tearing up their red L-plates. It is rare for someone to die from a rotten tooth or gum disease, yet most of us will make regular trips to the dentist for a check-up. Similarly many people will visit an optician perhaps once every couple of years to see if a prescription needs changing. Yet how many of us seek out additional driver training as the years go by? Unfortunately, the answer is that very few people will bother to assess their driving skills throughout their life. Legally, once UK drivers have passed their driving test they may only be required to undertake further assessment if they report a disability to the DVLA. Even once one reaches the age of 70, mandatory assessment is not required: the driver merely has to make a medical declaration of fitness to drive (and must do so every three years thereafter).