Older drivers and safety: Tips to save lives and money
Taking a Mature Driver Course could earn you a discount on auto insurance.
Last week was Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, and while it was an event that just sped past me, it offered an idea worthy of putting in park for contemplation. When you’re considering hiding the car keys from an aging relative, suggest a driving fitness evaluation from a third party.
Safety awareness week for older drivers is sponsored by the American Occupational Therapy Association, and it (naturally) suggests a therapist conduct a comprehensive assessment. That makes sense because driving is complex. Driving requires visual, cognitive and physical aptitude, and involving a professional prevents a family member from playing the bad guy.
Another option is to partake of self-evaluations of driving performance. Check on the websites of your auto insurer, too, since most have such evaluation tools and offer tips for maintaining and improving driving skills as one ages. In fact, taking a Mature Driver Course earns you a discount on auto insurance. The discount varies from insurer to insurer, and if you are already getting good rates for good driving behavior, the discount may not be much. But most everyone believes every dollar saved is a dollar earned, so go for it.
Healthier seniors and safer cars means fewer car crash injuries and fatalities, a welcome trend. Yet, older drivers still have high fatality rates, usually because frailty makes it harder to recover from injuries sustained. Keep in mind that teen drivers and those in their early 20s have a higher fatality rate than senior citizens. That, too, is an age thing.