Nearly half (45%) of UK older drivers would consider using a driverless car in the future if they could no longer drive themselves, equating to over 7.6 million over 50s drivers. This is up by 16% year-on-year (2015: 29%), an increase of a further 2.6 million older drivers.
With recent academic studies highlighting a link between giving up driving and age-related declines in physical and mental cognition, it is no surprise that more older drivers are taking an open mind into the prospect of owning a driverless car. Two thirds (65%) of older drivers believe that that they would lose their independence if they gave up driving, almost half (45%) wouldn’t be able to see family and friends as often, and a further third (31%) believe they would become isolated and lonely if forced off the road.
Adam Clarke, Managing Director at Rias commented: “Finally giving up driving can be a very important and stressful individual and family decision that can have big ramifications for a person’s day-to-day life. While we always encourage experienced individuals to maintain their independence and drive for as long as possible, we also want to emphasise the importance of honest self-assessment when realising the best time to hang up the keys. This is vital for older drivers’ own safety and that of other road users.
“Driverless cars offer hope that motorists’ independence will not be lost when this finally comes, and it is unsurprising that this progressive option is attractive to older drivers.”