Dot, perhaps EastEnders’ most beloved character, was last night involved in a terrifying car accident, with viewers left uncertain as to her fate.
For those who haven’t seen it, after getting lost and becoming frustrated with her satnav, she inadvertently misses a no-entry sign and ends up on the wrong side of the road, meaning she and her grandson ended up on the verge.
In recent episodes, Dot has become increasingly worried about her eyesight, the suggestion being that this could have played a part in her accident.
At RoSPA we get many calls from concerned older drivers, and their families, over their failing health, and whether they should consider removing themselves from the road, or take steps to ensure they are not being a danger to themselves or other road users.
Driving provides independence and freedom, which means this is an extremely difficult decision to make, and of course can be an extremely difficult conversation to have if you are worried about a loved one.
Generally speaking, experienced drivers are safer on the road than those who have spent less time behind the wheel. For example, drivers aged between 17 and 25 account for just seven per cent of licence holders, yet are involved in 22 per cent of fatal or serious injury crashes.
But there comes a time in most motorists’ lives when we will need to consider whether we are still safe to be on the road.
RoSPA has created a website, in association with other organisations, to help with just this question – www.olderdrivers.org.uk.
There is a section, Keep Driving, which explains the different ways in which you can ensure you can stay on the road for as long as it is safe to do so.
Another section, Reaching the Decision, will help you to decide whether it’s time to consider giving it up, and using the many other alternatives that are available to help you get around.
Below are a few things, taken from the website, which may be indicators:
- 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.
For more information, see www.olderdrivers.org.uk.
Nick Lloyd, road safety manager
Posted: 2/24/2017 10:58:12 AM