Help Older Parents Lower Their Auto Insurance
Chances are all of us will have to deal with the issue of our elderly parents getting behind the wheel at some time in the future. The fastest growing segment of the U.S. population is older people. Americans over 65 were 13 percent of the total population in 2000 and they’re expected to increase to 20 percent of the population by 2030, according to the National Older Driver Research and Training Center at the University of Florida. Today, about 38 million licensed drivers over age 65. By 2024, one in four drivers will be 65 and older. Make sure your parents apply for auto insurance quotes every year to make sure they’re getting the lowest rates and best coverage.
Convincing your elderly parents or relatives to give up driving because of safety concerns can be a difficult situation for your family. But it may be in your interest — and theirs — to get them off the road. Drivers who are 75 and older have higher accident rates per mile than all age groups except for 16- to 25-year-olds, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, a more recent study by the IIHS found a 37 percent decline in fatal crashes involving drivers who are older than 70. That was even more than the 23 percent reduction in fatal crashes involving drivers 35 to 54 years of age. The IIHS isn’t sure what contributed to the decline. Older drivers may be taking better care of their health, they may be adopting ways to limit serious crashes or their cars may have better safety devices. If they car is equipped with air bags and other safety features, they may be eligible for a discount when they obtain auto insurance quotes.
Many older Americans are not prepared to give up driving and their independence. Here are some steps you can encourage your parents take to help them drive safely longer:
- Limit driving. Older drivers tend to be good drivers, experts say. But as people age, vision, mental speed and physical abilities often decline and that can affect their reaction time, night and peripheral vision, complex decision-making (like turning at intersections) and concentration. Encourage your parents not to drive during bad weather, at night or during high traffic hours. Even a minor accident, such as a fender bender, may increase their auto insurance premium. Besides, driving fewer miles may also help them lower their insurance rates. Make sure they ask about this discount, when they apply for auto insurance quotes.
- Hire an expert. Driver-rehabilitation specialists help people who have lost some mobility make adjustments. Special equipment can be installed in their vehicles, such as left-foot accelerators or spinner knobs that ease steering. These specialists can also set limits on driving times and routes. To find a driver- rehabilitation specialist, visit the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists Web site. (In a few states, Medicare may pay for part of the therapy.) Rehabilitation centers, hospitals and medical centers for veterans also give comprehensive driving evaluations. Veterans may be eligible for free tests.
- Take a course. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety offers a free online computer program, Roadwise Review, to help older drivers test their driving abilities. The exercises measure eight physical and mental areas that can predict crash risk, like memory, visual processing speed, leg strength, and head and neck flexibility. Your parent may also benefit from taking a refresher training or a driver improvement course, which in many states will qualify him for a car insurance discount. Check out AAA’s SeniorDrivers.org Web site for more information for senior drivers, their children, and their physicians. Make sure they apply for auto insurance quotes to get the lowest rates.
Once you have figured out how to encourage your elderly parents to be safer drivers, you are ready to shop around for lower auto insurance rates. You can call agents in your local area, contact insurance companies directly or use InsuranceQuotes.com to instantly get competitive auto insurance quotes from the nation’s leading insurance providers. Simply fill out a simple online form on InsuranceQuotes.com to find the right insurance coverage at the best possible price. Take the time to protect you and your family today.