Regulator Advocates Awareness for High-Risk Car Insurance Group

Two women driving in carPennsylvania insurance regulators have asked that families of older drivers take the lead in being open about honestly assessing their driving abilities and the possible need to retire the keys.

The advisory comes during National Older Driver Safety Awareness Week and at a time when, according to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, the percentage of crashes involving older motorists is on the rise.

Approximately 1.4 million of licensed Pennsylvania auto insurance consumers are 65 years old or older. In 2009, those were involved in 14 percent of the total crashes in the state and in 22 percent of fatal crashes. According to the department, that represents an increase from recent years and points to a need for open discussion with older drivers about when to stop driving and how to maintain mobility while doing so.

“It’s a conversation that most people are not anxious to have, but striking the right balance between safety on our roadways and the mobility of older drivers is a very important subject,” said Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Allen D. Biehler. “Driving is a privilege; however, the loss of that privilege can be devastating for an older driver who is not prepared to accept the change.”

But this issue is not specific to Pennsylvania.

The makeup of the nation’s driving population closely reflect that of Pennsylvania’s. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 500 older drivers are injured in motor vehicle accidents every day.

Deteriorating vision and reaction time at least are partially accountable for older drivers’ heightened risk of being involved in a crash.

Readers can visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Senior Driving page for more resources about dealing with this issue.

About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

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