Safety and Lower Insurance Premiums for Older Drivers

As drivers mature, the time arrives when decisions have to be made about whether they can continue driving. Typical issues are independence and convenience, high insurance costs, and safety. Insurance premiums are high for older drivers because they have more crashes and higher rates of fatal crashes than all but the youngest drivers. Older people are more susceptible than younger ones to medical complications after a crash, so they are more likely to die from injuries in a wreck.

Since older drivers don't deal as well with complex traffic situations, they are in more danger of causing multiple vehicle collisions, like at intersections where confusion can occur. Night vision, fitness, flexibility to look to the side for oncoming traffic or over a shoulder when backing up, attention span, and reaction time decline with age. These factors also contribute to more collisions.

You're probably ready for some good news. Highway engineers and researchers are finding ways to make some of the areas that are tough for these drivers easier to navigate and negotiate. Places like curves, interchanges, passing and merging lanes, and construction zones. That's very good, because maintenance of independence, personal dignity, and the overall quality of life largely depends on mobility.

Some of the ways of increasing the safety of older drivers have been so successful that a Florida law provides for a reduction in insurance premiums of up to 10% for a guaranteed 3 years. Drivers 55 years and older can get this break on insurance premiums. It's easy to do by completing a motor vehicle accident prevention course. You can take the course online in a day, and usually you can do it in sections at your convenience. It can also be done in person. I found one place that charges less than $20 for it. That's a bargain for independence and lower insurance rates. Call me, and I'll send a list of these courses.

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