By the year 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates more than 40 million drivers will range from age 65 and older. After teens, this population segment has the most road fatalities because older drivers are more susceptible to serious injuries according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
To help keep senior drivers safer, GEICO recommends these tips.
Get your eyes checked: The American Optometric Association recommends individuals 61 and older get comprehensive annual eye exams. As people age, their eyes can often change, creating the need for glasses. An eye exam can also detect other vision changes, such as issues detecting objects in low light or impairments such as cataracts.
Know your limits: If you struggle to see in low light, consider cutting back on night driving. Similarly, if physical conditions like arthritis become aggravated from sitting in the car for long amounts of time, try limiting your time behind the wheel to shorter road trips.
Know your state’s rules: In a number of states, drivers older than a certain age must renew their licenses more frequently. For example, drivers in Hawaii and Iowa need to obtain new drivers licenses every two years past age 72. To learn your individual state’s rules, visit this table from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Be mindful of medications: Some medications may have impairing side effects that could affect the ability to drive. Talk to your doctor before starting a new medication to make sure it won’t jeopardize your safety behind the wheel.
If you have a senior driver in your family, a time may come when you have to look at drastically limiting their driving or discontinuing it altogether. Look for some of the following signs recommended by AARP to determine if you should have a conversation about stopping driving.
Frequent close calls or near accidents
Dents and scrapes on the car
Getting lost in familiar areas
Delayed reactions to unexpected situations
Repeatedly receiving citations or warnings from law enforcement
Seniors also can brush up on safe driving techniques by taking a defensive driving course. In addition to becoming a safer driver, many states will allow a discount on select insurance coverages after an individual takes a defensive driving course.
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 13 million private passenger customers and insures more than 22 million vehicles (auto & cycle).
GEICO’s online service center helps policyholders take care of policy sales, policy changes and claims reporting, and print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through the GEICO App, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent.
GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, boats, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.