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Helpful Hints For Seniors Buying Car Insurance : Mature Driving Program

November 06, 1987|Clipboard researched by Rick VanderKynff, Nancy Reed, Henry Rivero, Deborrah Wilkinson / Los Angeles Times

Effective July 1, l987, Assembly Bill 2610 entitles California licensed drivers age 55 and over to premium discounts on liability, medical payments and collision coverage if they take a state approved mature driver improvement course every three years.

The statewide incentive program which effects all automobile insurance companies, is designed to improve driving skills and promote road safety for older adults. Discounts will depend on a person's driving record and insurance carrier. However, most companies have announced 5% to 10% premium reductions for course graduates.

The 8-hour mature driver improvement course will be available at private driving schools, public and private colleges and offered by non-profit organizations at community-based locations. Cost may vary from $8 to $20 depending on provider. The Department of Motor Vehicles will issue certificates to persons completing the course, which must be submitted to insurance carriers for discount benefits.

State approved mature driving courses meeting National Safety Council standards will offer 400-minutes of mandatory classroom instruction in the following areas:

Health and Driving Performance--(90 minutes) visual, hearing, physical limitations and physiologic changes associated with aging; DMV requirements for license issuance and refusal, reexamination of licensed drivers.

Effects of medication and alcohol on driving performance--(45 minutes) Rules of the Road and defensive driving countermeasures--(145 minutes) update on rules, driving demands in specific situations and basic defensive driving tactics.

Planning a trip and handling hazardous conditions--(90 mminutes) planning travel time and routes, being prepared to handle hazardous conditions.

Curriculums must also include 30-minutes of instruction time in one of the following elective areas: Recreational Vehicle Safety; Deciding When To Stop Driving; Local Weather and Traffic Conditions Affecting Driving Performance.

Number of Licensed Senior Drivers Based on a report issued by the State of California, Department of Motor Vehicles on December 31, l986, Orange County has 1,626,100 licensed drivers between the ages of 16 to 99 years old. Older adults, 55 years old and over, represent 323,069 or 19.87% of the county's licensed motorists. Officials estimate that 20,000 drivers per year will be eligible for mature driving insurance rates when reaching their 55th birthday.

According to DMV statistics complied June 1987, adults 50 to 90 years old constitute 26.1% or 424,350 of all licensed drivers in Orange County.

Licensed Age Sex Drivers* 50 to 54 Male 52,579 Female 55 to 59 Male 48,365 Female 60 to 64 Male 41,491 Female 65 to 69 Male 31,491 Female 70 to 74 Male 19,445 Female 75 to 79 Male 11,791 Female 80 to 84 Male 6,075 Female 85 to 89 Male 2,196 Female 90 to 99 Male 417 Female 307

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