How Can Mature Florida Motorists Save on Auto Insurance?

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Many vehicle owners in the Sunshine State who are over the age of 55 are good drivers, but as people age there are certain abilities that begin to degrade, which can impair driving ability and increase the risk of being involved in an accident. Difficulty behind the wheel can lead to collisions, which can lead to higher insurance costs. Luckily, mature Florida motorists can save money by utilizing programs and discounts that are available in the state.

To encourage residents to take notice of the changes that occur as people age, and to promote safe driving for as long as possible, the FL Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles created the GrandDriver program, which offers refresher courses and self-assessment tools. If the refresher driving courses that over-55 motorists take are approved by the state's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, participants are entitled to a FL auto insurance discount for the next three years, as long as they don't cause an accident or get a traffic ticket.

Drivers who take these courses get not only reduced premiums but also a wealth of information that can help aging residents decrease their accident risk. In 2010, there were more than 5.3 million Florida motorists 55 years or older who could benefit from these instructions.

Older drivers should be especially careful on the road because, even though the 55-and-over demographic has better overall crash statistics compared with younger drivers, they have a higher involvement rate in fatal accidents. Data from the state's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles show that drivers age 55 and over were about half as likely to be involved in a car crash in 2010 compared with drivers 54 and below. But the over-55 demographic was about twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash that same year.

During the classes, residents are informed about how to cope with decreased hearing and vision, changes in mobility, and the effects of medication while driving. In addition to providing insurance discounts and refreshers on rules of the road, these programs also prepare motorists for the legal changes that take place once a motorist reaches a certain age.

As Florida motorists get older, there are several important licensing changes that take place. Once residents are over 79, they are required to complete a vision test to obtain or renew their driver’s license. This test is mandated regardless of citizenship status or renewal method. Additionally, individuals who are 80 and over will be issued a six-year license instead of an eight-year license.

Older female driver smilingAlthough older drivers face different limitations, many statewide programs and courses are available to help keep FL residents practicing safe habits for as long as they're behind the wheel. By taking advantage of these resources, drivers can hopefully avoid accidents, which can help keep insurance costs low, and obtain further discounts from their insurer.