According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, mature drivers account for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2008. This group of drivers also accounted for 18 percent of all pedestrian fatalities.Almost 17% of drivers in the state of Pennsylvania are aged 65 and older. That makes Pennsylvania’s mature driver population the second largest in the country. And that number is expected to continue to increase.
The state of Pennsylvania provides some special services for its mature drivers. Pennsylvania law offers an incentive for drivers aged 55 and older to keep their driving skills sharp by completing periodic driver improvement courses. Pennsylvania state law mandates that insurance companies offer mature drivers a discount of at least five percent on their policy premiums. Any driving course must meet the standards put in place by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) in order to be eligible for the discount. And drivers may be disqualified from the discount if they are convicted of a moving violation, such as speeding or if they are convicted of driving under the influence.
The driver improvement course approved by the state that allows drivers to be eligible for the Pennsylvania mature driver discount is called the Basic and Refresher Mature Driver Improvement Course. There are currently four organizations at different locations throughout the state that offer this course. This course is tailored to the specific safety issues facing mature drivers. For example, the course helps the mature driver understand how aging can affect one’s driving abilities. The course will assist mature drivers in assessing whether physical changed are affecting their driving skills. The course is also designed to help give insight about the changing environment on today’s highways and byways.
Completion of the course is all that is required to obtain the discount. There are no written or physical driving tests upon completion. However, in order to maintain the Pennsylvania mature driver discount, individuals must take the Refresher Mature Driver Improvement Course every three years. Seniors should also check with their individual insurance carriers for specifics of their discount programs.
The following is a list of organizations in Pennsylvania that offer the driver improvement course. The fees are moderate and may vary with each organization, so be sure to call or visit the organizations’ websites.
Check local offices for availability