When asked about certainty, Benjamin Franklin replied that, “In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Well, we have a lame-duck session in Washington right now that’s thinking about what taxes we should be paying. But that’s not going to do anything to slow down the aging process. Somehow we always end up older no matter who’s in the White House. More importantly, the vast majority of people of all ages rely on their driving to get around. Public transport is seriously underfunded and, if you look at the new pat-down searches for air travel, even less welcoming than it used to be.
This makes every town and city dependent on the privately owned vehicle and, with less money spent on maintenance and repair, it’s getting more difficult and dangerous to get around. For the younger drivers, this may not be so much of a problem. But older drivers can be taken by surprise when the front wheel jerks into a pothole. Eyes see less clearly and reflexes are slowed. All this can add up to more risks. Fifty years ago, life expectancy was less than today. Older people didn’t hang around and continue driving. Today, modern medicine is keeping more people fit and active. That means they are all out on the roads.
This used to be a cause for celebration. Massachusetts, for example, decided to reward seniors with a 25% reduction on their premium rates. Once they reached the magic age of 65, it was automatically cheaper to drive. This is a great social gesture, helping families stay in touch. More importantly, it may also be encouraging safer drivers on to the roads. Having them struggle from A to B on the sidewalks was not good PR. So was Massachusetts right?
The reduction in premiums was required in 1977, the cost being spread among all the other insured drivers. Looking at the statistics from 1977 to date, the number of accidents involving drivers in the age range 65 to 74 has remained steady with this group having the smallest number of accidents than any other group of drivers. Why? They have the most experience, they tend to drive defensively, they usually drive at off-peak hours, and they most often have low annual mileages. It’s therefore perfectly reasonable to give this group a discount. Whether it should be as high as 25% is not the point. Safe drivers should be rewarded and encouraged.
Unfortunately, the accident rate rises after 75 as the body really starts to slow down. This group of drivers has the second worst accident rate. The moral of this article is therefore clear. For everyone living outside Massachusetts who’s approaching the age of 65, get the maximum possible number of auto insurance quotes to ensure you get the best discount. If all the quotes look much the same, pick up the telephone and start talking to the companies or check with the AARP to find out where to get the best rates. Don’t blindly accept the auto insurance quotes. Press for the discounts you are entitled to.
If professional writers like Haz Duell really help you learn more about things going on in the world, http://www.topinsursonline.com/articles/for-older-drivers.html will definitely give you enough food for thought on many interesting topics.