Your car insurance has always seemed expensive, especially after you added your dad who lives with you on to your policy. But now you’ve added your 16 year old son and your premiums have doubled, again. What’s going on? You call your insurance agent and find out that your father and your son are both in a high-risk category with higher insurance premiums. But why?
Studies show that people ages 65 and up and teenagers are the riskiest drivers. Insurance companies have noticed this trend and charge higher policy rates for drivers in these riskier age groups. The crash rate for teenage drivers is almost nine times higher than that of middle-aged drivers. And people over the age of 80 are involved in 5 times as many fatal crashes a year.
The reasons for the risks are different. Teens have developing brains that are not as well-equipped to assess risks and they may indulge in impulsive behavior in addition to not being experienced drivers. Older drivers are experienced and drive less frequently, but age-related physical and mental conditions can affect their driving ability. Their bodies are also more fragile and less able to sustain injuries in a crash.
Teens can be distracted by cell phones, stereos, and friends in the car. Many states have implemented Graduated Licensing laws to try to diminish some of the risks of teens drivers by putting limits on driving at night and the number of passengers allowed in a vehicle. Studies have shown lower crash rates in states that have implemented Graduated Licensing requirements. Another alternative that lowers risk with teens is participation in a defensive driving course. While many teens may feel they don’t need this type of class, it will prepare them for driving in real-life emergency scenarios and help them to react better under pressure.
Senior citizen drivers are generally not as distracted as teens, but they are risky when they begin to lose their cognitive or physical abilities. Some vehicles are now being equipped with safety devices geared towards older drivers such as lane-departure warning systems that alert a driver who begins drifting from his lane. But there may come a time when it is no longer safe for senior citizens to drive. This is when alternative types of transportation are important and making these available to seniors is an important aspect of making our highways safer.
Driving a vehicle on the road is risky and despite being cautious, there is a chance a car accident will occur. If you or someone you know is the victim of a vehicle accident, the San Francisco attorneys at Alexander Law Group, LLP are here to help. You can reach one of our California personal injury attorneys at 888.777.1776, or you can contact us online.