Enrolling in a mature driver program is one way a senior driver who wants to update his or her driving knowledge can take a step toward becoming a safer driver. A comprehensive mature driver improvement course can teach seniors about the impact aging may have on their driving skills, update them about new driving regulations and discuss ways to avoid traffic-related incidents. Additionally, a state-specific driving course for seniors can be particularly beneficial, because it can update mature drivers in regards to new traffic regulations in their area. The typical mature driver improvement course does not require a senior driver to pass a written or practical driving test in order to complete the program, unlike many other general driving courses for younger drivers. Thus, a senior driver can take the course merely for his or her benefit, without having to worry about examination. To learn more about senior driving courses, review the sections below.
What are the benefits of taking mature driving lessons?
Taking a driving course for seniors may extend a mature driver’s career by providing him or her with information and driving safety tips pertaining to the following:
- How to deal with diversions, heavy traffic and aggressive drivers
- What types of medicine should not be taken before driving
- How to manage drowsiness and optimize his or her attention and visibility
- What age-related physical and mental changes may impact his or her driving
It may be appropriate for a senior to take a mature driver education course specifically tailored to senior drivers’ needs, as traffic laws and regulations have changed significantly over the past decades. Otherwise, for senior drivers who are confident in their familiarity with general guidelines, other courses are available. A defensive driving course for seniors, for example, may address the ways how mature drivers can protect themselves from potential harm in the streets, while a seniors advanced driving course may go a step above and teach mature drivers about advanced topics and regulations.
Upon completing a state-approved mature driver program, senior drivers may be eligible for an auto insurance discount, which is a significant financial benefit of completing the course. Some programs will automatically send a driver’s certificate of course completion to his or her insurance company, prompting instant savings for a senior driver on a budget. Other programs will issue a physical or electronic copy of the certificate of course completion so that drivers can submit the document to their insurance companies. However, it is important to keep in mind that an insurance company could potentially refuse to give a senior driver a reduced rate if he or she has a poor driving record, even if a mature driving course is successfully completed. Discounts are given at the discretion of the insurance company in each case.
Who is eligible to enroll in a mature driver program?
Typically, mature driver program enrollment requires that drivers be at least 55 years of age. In certain cases, however, drivers who are at least 50 years of age may meet eligibility requirements for mature driving programs. If a driver is younger than 50 years of age and would like to improve his or her driving skills, he or she can choose from a wide range of driving courses that were not designed specifically for seniors.
Driving courses for seniors were designed to tackle general topics that pertain to drivers who have reached or surpassed the age of 55. An in-person or online driving school for seniors is different from typical driving programs in the sense that it takes into account motorists who have often started to face the consequences of age-related physical and mental impediments while driving. Mature driving lessons typically focus on updating senior drivers about new regulations and refreshing their already existing knowledge of driving.
Enrolling in a mature driving education course is a simple process that can be conducted online for all drivers who are eligible.
Where to Find Mature Driver Courses
Many organizations offer driving classes for seniors that are approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles in most states, including AAA, AARP and Safe 2 Drive. These organizations offer a general type of mature driver education course that addresses the particular safety needs senior drivers should consider and be aware of. These organizations also offer variations of an intensive driving course for seniors, which are tailored to more specific needs. Course fees vary according to state and organization.
Safe 2 Drive only offers the option of an online driving school for seniors, but taking an AARP or AAA mature driver course can be done in person or online.
When choosing which particular driving course for seniors to take from such a wide range of options, a senior driver should consult with his or her state’s Department of Motor Vehicles in order to properly identify which mature driver improvement courses are approved. Certain states have strict guidelines in regards to the number of hours a driver has to spend on a particular course in order for course completion to count toward an auto insurance discount.