I don’t know about you, but I was surprised when I read the latest report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that older driver’s have a higher rate of fatal crashes, based on miles driven, than any other age group except young inexperienced drivers. The high death rate is an outcome of their frailty. Older people are less likely to survive an injury than younger people. In 2010 a whopping 77 percent of traffic fatalities involved older drivers and happened during the day.
This group is growing larger and it is estimated that there could be more than 40 million older drivers on the road by 2020.State regulators and insurers have recognized that older drivers need help to sharpen their driving skills as well as recognize their changing abilities and adapt their driving practices appropriately. Insurers have partnered with state and local government, and groups like AARP, to create programs designed to address these needs. Many insurers will give older drivers premium discounts if they have taken a defensive driving courses. At least two insurers have adopted computer-based training programs for older drivers, that are designed to improve drivers’ field of vision. Field of vision is defined as the area over which information can be extracted a a single glance. Studies have shown that drivers who have a limited useful field of vision are twice as likely to experience a crash. However, research has shown that the useful of vision can be improved with brain training.
Many states require older drivers to renew their drivers licenses more often than other age groups and older drivers may not be able to renew their license by mail. Some states like Oregon requires older drivers to pass certain tests such as a vision test. Oregon like many state require your doctor to report any serious medical problems you may have that could impair your ability to drive.