‘Drive Confident’ day to keep older drivers safe on the roads

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Firefighters in Chichester are helping older drivers to stay safe on the roads by inviting them to a ‘Drive Confident’ event at the Brick Kiln Garden Centre next Tuesday (March 22).

Following the success of last year’s event, firefighters are once again teaming up with the AA to host a special advice and information day for drivers over the age of 65.

The event, which runs from 10am until 2pm and is free to attend, is part of West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s campaign to reduce the number of older drivers being killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads.

Firefighters will be joined on the day by a qualified AA driving instructor who will be offering the opportunity to book a free refresher lesson for those older drivers attending on the day.

Firefighter Darren Kilmister from Chichester Fire Station, who is organising the event, said: “It’s fantastic to work alongside the AA and give older drivers the opportunity to refresh their driving skills and pick up some simple tips which will help them to feel confident and stay safer on the road.

“Driving is a complex task and there are many things that could affect someone’s confidence and ability behind the wheel. The ageing process can affect our eyesight and our physical dexterity – muscles weaken, reflexes slow and flexibility decreases.

“We appreciate that driving can be a crucial factor in an older person being able to retain their independence. The aim of the event is simply to assist older people to continue to enjoy their driving safely and with confidence.”

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service Community Volunteers and the Interactive Information Bus will also be at the Garden Centre during the day offering information on staying safer on the road and at home.

In the last five years, 537 people have been injured in Chichester District as a result of a collision involving an older car driver, ten of those fatally.

Advice and information for older drivers can be found on the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership website www.sussexsaferroads.gov.uk

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