Divorce driv­ing older women be­hind wheel

The Daily Telegraph - - News -

RIS­ING divorce rates may be be­hind a rise in mid­dle-aged women learn­ing to drive to gain in­de­pen­dence, the pres­i­dent of the AA has said.

Gov­ern­ment fig­ures re­veal that driv­ing tests taken by women over the age of 50 in­creased by nearly a third (31 per cent) com­pared with four years ear­lier, with 17,464 tests taken in 2017-18. The num­ber who passed their test over the same pe­riod sim­i­larly rose by al­most 33 per cent, from 4,033 to 5,350. Mo­tor­ing ex­perts said the trend, found in Driver and Ve­hi­cle Stan­dards Agency fig­ures, could partly be ex­plained by divorce.

More than 101,000 cou­ples di­vorced in 2017. The divorce rate of women be­tween 55 and 59 was 5.8 per 1,000 cou­ples, up from 5.2 a decade ear­lier.

Ed­mund King, the pres­i­dent of the AA, told The Sun­day Times: “Some women may not have had a driv­ing li­cence but, fol­low­ing divorce and per­haps mov­ing out of the fam­ily home, they find that they need to drive.”

Jim O’sul­li­van, the head of High­ways Eng­land, last month said the fastest-grow­ing de­mo­graphic among mo­torists was “women in their 50s learn­ing to drive for the first time”.

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