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Senior Citizen Safe Driving

As with any kind of insurance, the less likely someone is to have to make a claim, the lower the premium will be for the coverage. This is not an exception when it comes to senior citizens, those 65 years of age and over, though the age cut-off defining a senior can vary. When people say that seniors have lower rates for auto insurance coverage, it isn’t necessarily so unless they have had a good driving record just like anyone else. Since demographics show fatalities are highest among seniors and teens, it doesn’t put seniors in the best pool of drivers for discounts, yet with a safe driving record they are considered separately in insurance premium assessments. Unlike their teen counterparts, they do have many years of a past driving history that can be taken into consideration.

Because people are living longer due to better health care and technology, the population of senior citizens is larger than it has ever been before, and it continues to grow as those born in the baby boomer years are now reaching this phase of their lives. Some of the things seniors will want to realize is that as they get older, should they still wish to drive, there are things that may seem obvious that they take for granted as a normal part of aging, but seniors might overlook how important these aspects are to them particularly as a driver.

What medications a senior may be taking and in what combination with others can be a deterrent to safe driving. Some can even cause drowsiness and falling asleep at the wheel. Such other aspects are vision impairment, especially experienced by this older age group after dark. The impairment of hearing is also a problem. The physical and mental reflexes to be able to move quickly to avert a problem and to think quickly enough to coordinate that movement that might preclude an accident are not as sharp as they once were. Seniors who are aware that these rather normal aspects of aging can be a deterrent to their own safety and that of others are going to be the seniors who are driving safely and taking precautions that these aspects do not interfere with their safe driving record.

Before any obvious warning signs start to surface, such as fender benders or other indications that it might be time to consider public transportation, if possible, it’s wise to take a drive with a younger friend or adult child every six months or so, who can determine how well a senior is able to handle these normal aging symptoms while driving. Noticing any problems with getting a foot from the gas to the brake pedal quickly, any disorientation as far as direction and knowing where they are, not seeing a partially hidden stop sign or any other indications of sight impairment, not hearing the siren of an emergency vehicle in time, are examples of warnings for which you want to be aware.

As long as seniors are aware of the considerations that make their driving different from the way it was in years gone by and take the precautions that will eliminate problems resulting from them, seniors can enjoy the independence of driving at reduced insurance rates for many years after that chronological cut-off date that deems them golden.


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