As drivers mature, the time arrives when decisions have to be made about whether they can continue driving. The typical issues are independence and convenience, high insurance costs, and safety. They are intertwined, but let's talk about safety first, and, I'll tell you how to get a guaranteed reduction on Florida insurance premiums if you're fifty-five or older.
Why are insurance premiums so high for older drivers? One reason is that they have 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 than younger drivers.
And older drivers don't deal as well with complex traffic situations, so they are in more of the dangerous multiple vehicle collisions, like at intersections where confusion can occur. Vision, especially at night, 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 are factors that contribute to more collisions.
You're probably ready for some good news. There's plenty of it for older drivers. 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, merging lanes, passing lanes, and construction zones. Because of the post World War II baby boom, the sixty-five and older age group, which was 33.5 million in 1995, will exceed 50 million by the year 2020, accounting for about 1/5 of the population of drivers in the U.S.
Couple this with increasing traffic volumes, and the demands on these drivers becomes apparent. Maintenance of independence, personal dignity, and the overall quality of life for older persons depends largely on mobility. That means driving, so until all the engineers and researchers can fix our highways to make them less confusing and easier for older drivers to negotiate, we have to find ways to make older drivers safer.
One of those ways is so effective that a Florida law provides for a reduction in insurance premiums of up to 10% for a guaranteed 3 years. How do drivers 55 and older get such a break on their insurance costs? It's very easy. If you're a licensed Florida driver 55 or older and you complete a motor vehicle accident prevention course, you will receive a mandatory reduction on your insurance rate for 3 years.
You can do this online, and usually you can do it in sections at your convenience. It's only a 6 to 8 hour course, and one source I checked charges only $14.95 for its online course. You can also take the course in person. Either way, it's a bargain for independence and lower insurance rates.