Driving Tips for Seniors to Keep Auto Insurance Rates Low

By Ryan Hurlbert on February 12th, 2010
Auto Insurance

There are more older drivers on the road than ever before. It is estimated that by 2030, 25% of all drivers on the road will be age 65 or older.

As drivers grow older physical reaction times begin to slow and eyesight may begin to diminish, which may result in an increased probably for car accidents. However, many older drivers are reluctant to give up the independence and freedom that being able to drive affords them.

Here are some ideas to help older drivers safely navigate the roads. If you are a senior, these strategies may help you avoid an accident.

Take a Class

Programs like 55 Alive, offered by AARP, or other classes offered by community organizations around the country, not only make seniors safer drivers but can save them money too. Many auto insurance companies provide discounts for taking the course.

Slow Down

Reaction times slow as you age, and by slowing down you buy time to recognize a dangerous situation and react. Allow more space between you and the car ahead of you.

Avoid Rush Hour

Plan your trips around heavy traffic areas and times and avoid the hassle and increased risk.

Maintain Your Vehicle

Properly functioning windshield wipers, headlights, brakes, and tires are critical for every driver, but even more so if your vision or reaction time is hampered. Keep your car and all safety systems in good working order.

Stay in Good Physical Shape

Regular physical activity keeps your reflexes and muscles sharp. Ask your doctor if any of your health issues could impair your ability to safely drive. Manage your health conditions and medications, and by all means if a medication warns you not to drive while taking it, stay off the road.

Know Your Limitations

If your night vision is not what it used to be, don't drive at night. Plan trips and review your route, especially in areas you are not familiar with so you can concentrate on driving. If heavy traffic causes you to get nervous and tense up, avoid driving during rush hour. Slow down, get off the interstate freeways, relax, and enjoy the trip. When traveling, take more breaks and get off the road earlier to keep fatigue from setting in.

Seek Out Alternatives

If you have any doubt about your ability to safely drive, stop. Unexplained dents, dings, and scrapes could mean your reaction time, depth perception, or vision is not up to the task of driving. Taxis, shuttles, buses, family, and friends are alternatives worth exploring.

Take a driving refresher class, get a check-up, and exercise to stay in top physical shape. By using these strategies, you could save a lot of money on your auto insurance.

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