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What’s on Your Windshield?

Owning your own car or truck is a large financial undertaking. In addition to the cost of the vehicle, you are responsible for all your own repairs, not to mention the price of gas. Car insurance is yet another cost associated with vehicle ownership. Drivers with multiple operating infractions or a propensity for car accidents will undoubtedly face high insurance premiums. However, there are biases against certain groups of drivers by insurance companies simply because of driver age.

The two groups of drivers who face the highest insurance premiums are teenagers and senior citizens. Statistics show that these two groups tend to cause the most traffic accidents, and it's difficult for these drivers to get a fair insurance rate. Fortunately, there are safe driver discounts that can help reduce insurance costs for teens and older drivers. Below are examples of courses and programs available to help teens and seniors keep insurance premiums as low as possible.

Discounts Programs For Older Drivers

Organizations such as AAA, AARP and the National Safety Council offer great programs for senior citizens. These courses not only help to refresh basic driving techniques but also help seniors to adapt to how aging affects driving. For instance, these courses cover reduced reflexes, slowed reaction time, and decreased vision. Perhaps most importantly, these courses offer a comprehensive assessment on whether or not a senior is still capable of driving. Seniors who complete a "Mature Driver Course" can save as much as 10 to 20 percent on insurance premiums. Currently, 36 states make it mandatory for insurance companies to offer discounts to drivers who complete driver-improvement courses that are state approved.

Defensive driving courses are another effective way for seniors to save on car insurance. An eight-hour two-day course could save drivers another 10 percent.

Discount Programs For Teenage Drivers

There are several programs targeted at helping responsible teenagers keep insurance premiums down. Teens cause more car accidents than any other age group, not to mention speeding and other violations. Still, not all teenagers should be penalized for the actions of some.

Teenagers who are good students, achieving at least a 3.0, are typically eligible for auto insurance discounts. Also, a completed driver's education course can save a new teenage driver more than 10 percent on insurance premiums when compared to a driver who never takes the course. In addition, teenagers who take the initiative and complete a state-approved defensive driving course are eligible for reduced insurance premiums.

In an example of just how far technology has developed, there are now monitoring devices which can result in savings for teen drivers. Indeed, microchips are installed in the dashboard of a car to read data. Sharp turns or sudden stops can be read and data transmitted or recorded. Most major insurance companies will offer a discount to drivers willing to let big brother record their every move while behind the wheel, though the cost could be offset by monthly fees associated with the microchips.

Featured in Autos