GEICO offers tips to keep drivers safe through their golden years

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 15, 2015 – 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), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 27 million vehicles.

To make changes, report claims, print insurance cards and purchase additional products, policyholders can log into their car insurance policy, connect via GEICO Mobile, phone or by visiting a GEICO local agent.

Homeowners, renters, condo, flood, identity theft and life coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Commercial auto and personal umbrella coverages are also available.

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