When people think of a demographic that's likely to be involved in car crash, they usually think of teenagers, not seniors. But some of the statistics about seniors and car accidents bear looking into. For example, between the ages of 60 and 64, the number of seniors involved in crashes involving multiple vehicles at intersections increases. There are a number of reasons why seniors may be at risk for car accidents, including impaired vision and slower reflexes. However, for many seniors, retaining the ability to drive is imperative. Can driver's education courses for seniors help?
What Are Senior Driver's Education Courses?
While seniors are less likely to drive at high speeds or take dangerous risks than younger drivers, they may be at greater risk of a fatality in a car accident. Common conditions associated with aging, like brittle bones, make even low-speed impacts more dangerous. Put simply, senior drivers have bodies that are often more fragile than those of younger drivers. The best way for seniors to avoid severe or fatal injuries is to avoid car accidents entirely.
A senior driver's education course is an adult driver's education course geared specifically to the concerns of senior drivers, with an aim of helping seniors avoid accidents. These may be offered by senior organizations, government agencies, or private driver's education schools.
How Senior Driver's Education Can Keep Seniors Safe
Senior driver's education courses are similar to other defensive driving courses for adults, such as those you might take after receiving a traffic ticket. However, in senior courses, there is a focus on how age affects driving skills and how seniors can adapt their driving to account for those changes.
A driver's education course aimed at seniors can help by making sure that standard defensive driving strategies are fresh in students' minds, as well as by introducing seniors to new and updated strategies for safe driving that they may not have had the opportunity to learn previously. Instructors also include information about adjusting driving practices to account for the physical changes that accompany age, such as slower reflexes or decreased night vision, making the courses especially relevant for senior students. Additionally, seniors can learn how to choose and use adaptive safety technology for their vehicles, like lane-departure warning systems, that they may previously have been unaware of, further increasing their ability to drive safely and remain independent longer.
Other Benefits of Senior Driver's Education Courses
Refreshing and improving driving skills that can help seniors stay safer behind the wheel is a pretty important benefit of taking a senior driver's education course. However, there are other benefits as well. Improved driving skills can help seniors maintain their independence longer. Seniors who lose the ability to drive can become dependent on others for basic necessities like getting groceries or going to medical appointments, and they also risk becoming isolated from friends and family. Losing independence can take a serious toll on seniors' mental and physical health.
There can also be financial benefits to taking senior driver's education courses. Some car insurance companies offer discounts to seniors who can show proof of completing a driver's education course. Lower insurance premiums help make continuing to drive more financially feasible for seniors who often have fixed incomes and need to maintain strict budgets. Ask your insurance company if they offer this kind of discount.
If you're a senior or you have a senior loved one, it's worth looking into senior driver's education courses in your area. Your insurance company, your local senior center, and your local DMV are all good places to go for information about senior driver's education courses. You can also search online for traffic schools in your area offering senior driver's education courses. Learn more from a school such as Online Traffic Education.