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Virginia Auto Insurance Quotes For Mature Drivers

The Commonwealth of Virginia has a compassionate name for drivers who have reached the age of sixty years or over – ‘Silver Drivers.’    This is a respectful term which does not denigrate the person but recognizes that mature drivers are often less safe and many should not be licensed to drive even though they may have spotless histories of thirty or forty safe driving years.   Frequently these drivers do not have updated Virginia car insurance coverage and the maintenance on their vehicles may be sporadic.

Why should mature drivers be a concern?   Isn’t it true that teens and young drivers cause the most accidents and receive the highest number of citations?   Yes, that is a fact, but the teen and youthful driver will improve over time.   Young people need ‘seasoning’ and experience in order to become better drivers.   Unfortunately, the mature driver is in a different learning curve.   This list contains some of the issues;

1.   The senior may have declining faculties, such as diminished vision or hearing.   Certainly the loss of peripheral vision is a real concern among the aging population.

2. Many, if not most, seniors are taking medications on a regular basis which may impact on their concentration, skill level, and comprehension.

3. As individuals age, they often lose the ability to ‘multi-task’ so a mature person may be more distracted by a cell phone,  pedestrian, or other occupant of the vehicle than a driver who in their forties might be.

Indications that the skills of a mature individual should be reviewed include:

* stopping at green lights,

* ignoring directional signs (including stop signs),

* leaving turn signals active after the need has passed,

* making traffic changes without signaling,

* having difficulty finding the controls in the vehicle (especially the gas and brake pedals)

* Losing track of the location of their car in parking lots (more than the average adult, of course) and

* Becoming lost while driving.

What steps should be taken by family or other concerned individuals?   First, if medications are involved, those should be reviewed with the senior and the health care provider to determine if any are causing the loss of skills or memory.   Avoiding the medication dose before driving may be a simple solution to the risk.   Encouraging the senior to take a defensive driving course to update their knowledge is a good step.   Seniors may be resistant to wearing their seat belts but must be compelled to do so.   Often, they have older model cars which may not have good airbag design or may lack airbags altogether.   Seniors often do not handle high traffic, complex roadway instructions, left hand turns, or backing up their vehicle.  If possible, plans should be made so that travel involves as few of these problem areas as feasible.

What is done if the senior does have a problem and is unwilling to discuss or handle it?  A private report can be made to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to request an assessment by the Medical Advisory Board.   This review process is internal to the Virginia DMV and occurs privately with confidential records.   If no problem is found, then the senior’s status is unchanged.    If a problem is discerns, then the DMV will restrict the license or withdraw it altogether.

Virginia auto insurance companies play a role in monitoring seniors as well.   If there are traffic citations, accidents or law enforcement warning, any of these could trigger a determination within the insurance company that coverage will not be available to the senior.   Heartless as that may seem,   insurance companies evaluate the risk that the specific driver will cause future problems in order to extend or withdraw coverage.   This is a protection for the other drivers on the road as well.

Obtaining your insurance coverage at any age should involve a reputable car insurance company in Virginia, one licensed to do business in Virginia, and one which issues policies at a reasonable cost.

Cost is determined by many factors, but an easy one on which to obtain information.   Put your zip code into the space provided above and you will receive information on various costs and companies which should meet your needs.   At any age, knowledge of the available options concerning insurance can make you a safer, more prepared driver.