By Nyree Callaghan, Alicia Ng

A recent incident involving an elderly driver has raised questions about the system that determines whether the elderly are able to drive.

Dr Mark King from QUT’s centre for accident research and road safety Queensland says the recent incident highlights the gaps in the system and the need to improve it.

He says studies have shown knowing their limitations is not the reason older people stay off the roads.

“It’s more that they feel uncomfortable driving when there is heavy traffic or driving at night and the reason that they feel uncomfortable is because they don’t cope well with decision making for perceptual reasons,” he said.

Dr King also says that annual medical checks are not enough.

“When you’re sitting in a surgery with someone it is rather different than being on the road with them,” he said.

Dr King suggests more frequent checks be made necessary and the system be improved.