Failure to maintain road markings and pressure on councils to turn off streetlights at night may be keeping older drivers 'trapped' indoors, according to a road safety group.
A new study, investigating the effect of better road visibility on older drivers' confidence, is being launched by the Road Safety Markings Association (RSMA) and Newcastle University's Institute for Ageing.
George Lee, national director of the RSMA, said: "Among healthy older drivers, keeping mobile is desirable for the individual, their families and friends, and for society as a whole.
"In any ageing population such as the UK's, we cannot expect healthy people to accept a life of social isolation, simply because we have allowed the road network to be inaccessible by those who have lived here the longest."
The RSMA study, involving 2,000 participants, will help to reveal whether better road conditions could "unlock the freedom" for elderly people, who often impose road curfews on themselves due to fear.
The findings of the study will be presented and reviewed at the RSMA's annual conference in November.
Copyright Press Association 2014