Insurance rates typically go down as young adults mature. According to the Insurance Information Institute, people 55 years or older are less likely to drive aggressively or too fast. That’s the reason that most insurance companies offer discounts to drivers over 55. Still, older drivers are said to be more likely to have impaired hearing and slower reflexes, or to be using prescription drugs that might slow their reaction time.

Reports out of the University of Massachusetts Amherst come to the same conclusion: Elderly drivers are more prone to side-impact crashes. According to UMass, many drivers over age 70 realize that their reaction time is slower, so they naturally compensate by driving more carefully, says Matthew Romoser, who studies age-related physical and cognitive function and driving skills at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The problem, according to his latest research, is that many older drivers don't realize that danger is coming at them sideways, not from head-on as they assumed.

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