Prince Philip’s car crash caused spike in elderly drivers giving up licence

Prince Philip's car crash caused a spike in the number of elderly drivers handing back their licence.

On January 17, 2019, the Duke of Edinburgh rolled his Land Rover after colliding with another car near the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

Following a Freedom of Information request from retirement mortgage experts Responsible Life, DVLA figures revealed a 21 per cent increase in the number of drivers aged 90 and over voluntarily surrendering their licence last year. The Duke was 97 at the time of the crash.

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Prince Philip behind the wheel
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Prince Philip behind the wheel
File photo dated 12/12/92 of the Duke of Edinburgh, who was involved in a road traffic accident at the edge of the Sandringham Estate, driving his daughter the Princess Royal to Crathe Church where she married Commander Tim Laurence.
File photo dated 23/09/57 of the Duke of Edinburgh, who was involved in a road traffic accident at the edge of the Sandringham Estate, driving the Prince of Wales to Cheam School for his first day there, accompanied by Queen Elizabeth II.
File photo dated 06/07/67 of the Duke of Edinburgh, who was involved in a road traffic accident at the edge of the Sandringham Estate, raising his hat as he drives off from Heathrow Airport after arriving back with the Queen from their weeks' tour of Canada.
File photo dated 19/05/55 of the Duke of Edinburgh, who was involved in a road traffic accident at the edge of the Sandringham Estate, at the wheel of a Land Rover to drive Queen Elizabeth II around her inspection of the jumps at the European Horse Trials in Windsor Great Park.
File photo dated 22/04/16 of the Duke of Edinburgh, who was involved in a road traffic accident at the edge of the Sandringham Estate, driving Queen Elizabeth II and the former President and First Lady of the United States Barack and Michelle Obama in a Range Rover to Windsor Castle, ahead of a private lunch hosted by the Queen.
File photo dated 13/5/2018 of the Duke of Edinburgh, 97, who was left "very shocked" and shaken when the Land Rover Discovery he was driving was hit by a Kia as he drove near the Queen's Sandringham estate on Thursday afternoon, at the wheel of a similar vehicle during the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
File photo dated 11/5/2018 of the Duke of Edinburgh, 97, who was left "very shocked" and shaken when the Land Rover Discovery he was driving was hit by a Kia as he drove near the Queen's Sandringham estate on Thursday afternoon, talking to the Queen while at the wheel of a similar vehicle during the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh seen driving his Land Rover Freelander on day 5 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Home Park on May 13, 2018 in Windsor, England. This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Windsor Horse Show which was first held in 1943. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh seen sitting in his Land Rover on day 5 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Home Park on May 13, 2018 in Windsor, England. This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Windsor Horse Show which was first held in 1943. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh seen sitting in his Land Rover on day 5 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Home Park on May 13, 2018 in Windsor, England. This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Windsor Horse Show which was first held in 1943. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
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The number rose from 6,612 to 8,014, and came after a rise of less than 10 per cent in 2018.

The data also shows that the number of drivers aged 100 and over that surrendered their licence increased 146 per cent to 32 in 2019.

Steve Wilkie, executive chairman of Responsible Life, said: "When to stop driving remains one of our most difficult decisions in later life. For many retired motorists it means letting go of a symbol of their independence, even if they only make the occasional trip to the local shops.

"Older age is also cruel and creeps up on you, making it impossible to judge the best time to hang up the steering wheel and get a taxi, rather than soldier on for another year.

"Prince Philip's misfortunes, however, seem to have jogged a great number of people into confronting this difficult decision head on."

Although there is no age limit for when people must stop driving, elderly drivers that are concerned about their ability to drive can ask for objective assessments from organisations such as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

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