Cruisin’ Over 55: Driving Etiquette for Older Folks

happy senior driverContinued training is a major part of many professions.

Doctors, attorneys, accountants, pharmacists, financial professionals, engineers, and many other careers have professional organizations or legally mandated oversight bodies to ensure that folks are hip on new development and skills.

You’d hope your doctor knows the most advanced procedures or at least outmoded procedures that shouldn’t be performed.

So why doesn’t this logic crossover into driving? Just as, industry standards can change necessitating updates for industry people, standards on the road can change necessitating drivers to learn the new do’s and don’ts. Below are the top 3 reasons that even if you’re over 55 and “know how to drive,” it’s worthwhile to take a defensive driving course.

Insurance

Some states allow insurance companies to lower premiums for customers as an incentive to take defensive driving courses, as much as 15 percent in some cases. Insurance companies do this for two reasons: 1) It reduces the chance that drivers will be in an accident, and 2) It, therefore, saves lives and money.

Defensive Driving for You

Don’t worry, taking a defensive driving class doesn’t mean being the oldest goat in a room full of young, dumb college bros who all drive used Chevy trucks. Not wasting time on rudimentary material, these courses offer a refresher and introduction to new rules and techniques that’ll enhance your skill as a driver. For instance, did you know that due to the ubiquity of airbags and modern understanding of ergonomics the proper hand position on the steering wheel has moved from “10 and 2” to “9 and 3” or “8 and 4”?

Don’t Be Complacent

When was the last time you had to take evasive action to avoid impending doom behind the wheel? How confident are you in your ability quickly to maneuver. Regardless, of how you answered those questions it never hurts to practice driving defensively. There are driving courses that focus on real-world training, getting drivers comfortable with being aggressive when they need to be to avoid possible danger. Also, keep in mind, it’s an excuse to relive some old hot rod days and drive like a crazy person (safely, of course) through the course. Times they are and already have been changing.

Think of all the changes in the world, like, when you first got your license and today. Is it that unreasonable to think that you’d benefit from a defensive driving class for experienced drivers? After all, you wouldn’t trust a doctor whose advancement in medical knowledge stopped after graduation 40 years ago. To keep your skills up at anything, driving included, you have to put the time into it. It’s widely accepted that defensive driving classes reduce accident rates, can lower your insurance, and hone your driving skills, so in the case of defensive driving courses it’s a no-brainer.

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