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Accidents impacting auto insurance costs, public safety

Posted On Wed, August 5, 2009

One state has been promoting public safety and trying to hold down average auto insurance costs with a policy that is starting to gain attention elsewhere.

According to a recent Boston Globe article, New Hampshire has a law requiring drivers over age 75 to take a road test every five years in order to keep their licenses. The report comes at a time when Massachusetts and other states have seen a large number of high-profile traffic fatalities that were caused by seniors behind the wheel.

A licensing officer in New Hampshire, Jeff Oberdank, told the newspaper that "the first two minutes of the test is tell-all," and that he "absolutely" believes the state's policy results in safer roads.

About 900 senior drivers are said to fail the test in any given year, some of whom are considered highly likely to have caused accidents otherwise.

The issue of safety and senior drivers is likely to only become more pronounced in the coming years as millions of members of the Baby Boom generation begin to prepare for retirement. Some states are already eyeing possible legislative solutions with that trend in mind because of the ramifications it could have for public safety as well as auto insurance costs.

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