Defensive Driving for Seniors

Last Updated: August 5, 2023 |
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Seniors are experienced drivers, typically with decades of successful driving behind the wheel. But that also means it’s probably been decades since you’ve completed any formal driver training, and at a mature age, you may face new physical challenges that change the way you approach driving. Defensive driving courses can offer you an update on essential driving skills that can help you reduce risk, prevent accidents, and keep you on the road for years to come.

Why Seniors Need Defensive Driving Education

You probably completed driver training courses as a teenager and have honed your skills with many years of experience on the road. But even the safest, most experienced driver can learn a few new safety tips here and there. Plus, laws and safety rules may have changed significantly since you last learned them, and technological advances in vehicles have almost certainly changed within the last few decades — even the last few months! Seniors often take defensive driving courses for:

Insurance Discounts for Mature Drivers

While safe driving is typically the ultimate goal for most senior drivers enrolled in defensive driving courses, completing the course often comes with a great perk: hefty discounts on insurance premiums.

Most insurance companies offer discounts for mature drivers who have completed voluntary defensive driving courses. The discounts range from 1% to 15% and are usually 10%, though it varies depending on the individual insurance company and state. Most will allow seniors to complete the defensive driving course for a discount every three years and renew on a continual basis for updated knowledge and a fresh discount.

Are You Eligible for Defensive Driving Education?

Often, drivers enroll in defensive driving courses to remove or reduce the penalty of a traffic violation, but anyone can enroll. You don’t have to wait until trouble finds you to become a safer driver. Defensive driving courses are open to all, and some states offer special mature driver programs with education tailored specifically to older drivers.

To qualify for insurance discounts, you’ll typically need to meet certain criteria that allow you to be identified as a safe mature driver. Eligibility for mature defensive driving discounts usually requires:

Defensive Driving Courses Available for Seniors

In some states, your defensive driving course will be the same as the course offered to traffic violators and students brushing up on skills, but in others, you can take advantage of courses tailored specifically to mature drivers. Specialty defensive driving courses for seniors may include:

What You’ll Learn in Defensive Driving Education Courses for Seniors

At every age, defensive driving courses teach drivers how to drive more safely. They focus on defensive tactics, crash avoidance, and driver attitudes. Often, defensive driving courses for seniors will include topics such as:

Ultimately, your defensive driving course should teach you how to be a safer, more responsible driver at any age.

Tips for Senior Drivers

According to the CDC, the risk of being injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident increases as you age. Each day, an average of 500 older adults are injured, and 15 older adults are killed every day in auto accidents. Those older than 75 are most at risk, as well as those with age-related declines in vision, cognitive functioning, and physical changes that may affect driving abilities. While some risk factors can’t be avoided, there are some steps you can take to be a safer mature driver:

How to Find a Defensive Driving Education Program for Mature Drivers

Interested in improving your driving skills and earning a discount on insurance for safe driving? Our directory has approved defensive driving schools with comprehensive programs available to mature drivers.