Apparently the DVLA has revealed that there are now 1,012,399 drivers over 80. And just for fun there are also 122 licence holders over the age of 100, including three 105 year olds, and one 106-year-old woman.
We could now get into a debate about whether they should be driving at all. I doubt that many of the 100-year olds actually are. Then again, Wing Commander Ken Wallis MBE who lives near me (famous for the aerial stunts in You Only Live Twice), is 96. More to the point he still flies Auto Gyros over my house.
According to the stats they are in fact much safer than their more youthful counterparts. I understand that the rate of deaths and serious injuries in crashes among drivers over 80 is three times less than the rate for those aged 17-19. In 2010 almost one young driver aged 17-19 was killed or seriously injured per thousand licence holders. The rate of deaths and serious injuries in crashes among car drivers aged 20 to 24 is 36.4 per cent more than the rate for drivers aged 80 or over.
I am more interested in exactly what they drive. Which of course isn't revealed in these stats. I was glad that the old Jag XJ gave up because I only ever saw old gits (like me) driving them.
So what is the senior generation piloting these days? Honda Jazzes, last generation Kia Rios, Micras? I saw an old boy (late sixties to early seventies) in a Triumph GT6 several months ago which, judging by its condition, he must have bought new. It was far from mint and looked well used, with faded paint and corroded wire wheels. He was smoking a fag too, so a proper old school motorist. I thought it was a good way to see out your motoring years instead of giving up and buying a Ford Fusion.