May 1, 2013
AAA released a report today that is trying to change the perception we all have on older drivers. In the report, they say that drivers in their mid to upper 80's have lower crash rates per mile than drivers in their early 20's.
Gary Albert, Charlottesville State Farm Insurance Agent, said, "Historically, there is a collection of claims that show up in the 16-20 year range and maybe in the 75, on up range."
With technology, insurance rates have changed over the years to include more factors. Instead of rates decreasing when you turn 25 or increasing when you turn 75, they are based more on experience.
Albert said, "On the teen drivers birthday, the rate, all else being equal, starts coming down. Then, starts smoothing out to that normal adult rate and then, later on you will start to see some rise, or some upward pressure later on down the line. In a typical situation."
Gary Albert's 86-year only father, Alfred, started driving when he got out of the navy as a taxi driver. Mr. Albert has driven many miles during his lifetime but he has started driving less as he's gotten older.
Gary Albert said, "In a period of about two years, he's put maybe, 3,000 miles on his car. Go to church, grocery store and visit the grandkids and that's about it."
Mr. Albert said, "My slogan is, get all the experience you can and adhere to it and always be respectful with your driving. The rest will take care of itself.
Mr. Albert hasn't noticed his driving skills changing over the years but he does notice that he's become more attentive to the road.
Mr. Albert said, "I have noticed that I am holding the steering wheel a little tighter. Before you drive with one hand and look out the window and all that but I don't do those thing anymore."
It's always important to watch for any major clues that your older family members may need to get off the road.
Gary Albert said, "When I'm with him I usually drive but, when I see him pointing out traffic lights and street signs to me, that is a good clue that he's paying attention and he knows where it is. Plus, being his insurance agent, I don't think he wants to call in a claim is anything were to happen."
The AAA report also said that older women are typically safe than older men when behind the wheel. This is because women attend more driver safety courses than men do.