With an ageing population in the UK, you'd expect an increasing number of elderly drivers. However, research shows that there are now over 200 drivers on British roads aged 100 or more.
A new ITV documentary, 100 Year Old Drivers, which broadcasts tonight, has studied Britain's oldest drivers. Figures featured in this program include a 100-year-old bomber command veteran who says that he will only give up his licence when he gets old.
Despite driving for 86 years, Harry Kartz has never had to take a driving test; Mr Kartz has been on the roads since 1927 – years before compulsory driving tests were introduced in 1935.
The 100-year-old is filmed mounting a kerb, forgetting to use indicators and drifting out of his lane while driving, though he insists that is safer than he has ever been. The Daily Mail reports that the former Aston Villa football club chairman would only give up driving: "when I've got to the stage when I'm not ready [to react to] other people's actions. I don't want to drive like an old man. I'm not an old man."
Despite claiming that he is competent enough to drive, Kartz admits writing off three cars in his lifetime. However, he does believe his years behind the wheel are numbered: "I've got my licence until 2016 – but I don't think I've got a licence for myself until 2016, I think I shall be gone before then."
Debunking the myth that all older motorists drive slowly another 100-year-old featured in the show, Mary Walker, has little regard for speed limits: "It's exhilarating, going fast. People that drive slowly, they frustrate you. How fast do I like to go? I don't think I ought to answer that."
102-year-old Searson Thompson who lives on the Welsh coast said he needs to continue driving: "I drive because I'm completely self-sufficient," he said. "If I were to stop driving now, I'd vegetate."
An ageing population means that there are now 4.1 million drivers aged over 70 who still have a licence, up from 3.9 million in 2012. Those aged over 90 continuing to drive has increased by nearly 10 per cent over the same period.
Drivers aged over 70 have to reapply for their licence every three years, though their skills and eyesight are not automatically reassessed, leaving individuals to decide whether they are still safe behind the wheel.
Are you concerned about an ageing relative's ability to drive? How have you approached the topic with them? Have your say below.