Elderly drivers in the state of Massachusetts risk losing a privileged discount in car insurance bills because of a rash of car accidents involving drivers over 75 years of age.
Senior drivers were involved in five horrific car crashes in Massachusetts these past few weeks, further adding to the speculation that senior drivers could be stripped of their 25 percent discount in car insurance bills.
The Automobile Insurers Bureau of Massachusetts said that it is currently studying the possibility of removing the coveted discount because of the accidents. Although the study has not yet officially concluded, the bureau has already found out drivers aged 75 above are involved in more vehicular crashes than ordinary adults.
Daniel J. Johnston, president of the bureau, pointed out that while senior drivers deserve a discount, the 25 percent markdown they are entitled to is simply too high.
The victim in the latest mishap, an elderly man, is in serious condition at the hospital. The accident occurred in Melrose after the man was struck by an 86-year old motorist.
Police identified the driver as Virginia Nelson. The victim’s identity was not revealed but police chief Michael L. Lyle said the elderly man was two years the senior of Nelson. The accident occurred 10:30 a.m. when the suspect was driving along Main Street. Her car swerved and struck the victim who was at the crosswalk at that time. There were no skid marks at the accident scene, according to witnesses. Their absence would indicate that 84-year old Nelson did not step on the brakes.
Under state law, senior citizens are entitled to a 25 percent discount on car insurance premiums. The benefit was authorized by law in 1978.
58-year old hub crossing guard Marie Conley was killed in October when she was hit by an 86-year old man. Conley was accompanying school children who were crossing the street in Dorchester.
Conley’s son, James, said that the thought of giving senior drivers huge discounts is “absurd.” James is a paramedic and firefighter based in the Fort Lauderdale area.
While the bureau’s study has discovered that drivers over 75 years of age pose higher risks, motorists under 75 are much safer behind the wheel.
The same study also found out that property damage claims outnumbered bodily injury claims among senior drivers. If the industry come to the conclusion that the senior discount is not worth giving, then insurance companies can push for the repeal of the 1978 law granting the benefit.