Older Drivers Safer, File Fewer Auto Insurance Claims

Elderly male driverTraditional concern with the dangers of elderly drivers might be off base, said a new report.

Fewer older drivers than expected were involved in serious accidents or filed auto insurance claims, reported the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. From 1997 to 2008, the number of Americans over age 70 increased from 24.4 million to 28 million and about 78 percent of them had drivers licenses. Yet the rate of fatal crashes that involved someone in that age group declined by 37 percent. Drivers 80 and older were in half as many fatal crashes, said the report.

Elderly drivers compared favorably to middle-age motorists (age 35 to 54), who were in 23 percent fewer fatal crashes between 1997 and 2008. If older drivers had followed the same crash trends of middle-age drivers, about 10,000 additional senior citizens would have been involved in fatal crashes, said report author Anne McCartt.

State-imposed restrictions that require seniors to apply for license renewal more frequently could be behind the safer driving trends. However, many seniors are doing a good job policing themselves, said McCartt.

Indeed, drivers who restrict their own driving are the best defense against more accidents and higher premiums. Motorists in this age group generally pay relatively cheap auto insurance rates and this report can be an indication of why.

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.

No comments yet.

Comment on this article