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Driver Preparedness: A 2014 Survey of Drivers Age 30+

December 2, 2014 Comments off

Driver Preparedness: A 2014 Survey of Drivers Age 30+
Source: AARP Research

Key findings include:

  • In general, drivers age 30 and older (98%) feel prepared before taking a car trip of 50 miles or more, with 84% feeling very prepared and 14% feeling somewhat prepared.
  • Likewise, drivers report ensuring their vehicle is prepared before taking a trip of 50 miles or more. Specifically, roughly eight-in-ten report always ensuring their mirrors are adjusted properly (89%), checking dashboard warning lights and addressing any related problems (84%) and ensuring their vehicle is up to date on its recommended services (80%). A majority of drivers also report always checking that their headlights are working (64%), checking the oil level in their car (57%), checking their windshield wipers (53%), and checking their tire pressure (51%).
  • In general, the extent to which drivers engage in vehicle preparation increases with age. For example, older drivers (age 50+) are particularly likely to always ensure their mirrors are adjusted properly, ensure their vehicle is up-to-date on recommended services, check that their windshield wipers are in good condition, and check their tire pressure.
  • Drivers also engage in a variety of planning behaviors, at least sometimes, before taking a trip of 50 miles or more. A majority of drivers report always telling someone when they expect to arrive at their destination (62%), and planning to avoid rush hour traffic (54%). Over four-in-ten report always packing food or planning where to eat (44%), while 38 percent report sometimes doing this. Additionally, a third say they always plan where they will stop to rest (30%), while roughly four-in-ten (38%) say they sometimes do this.
  • Drivers generally engage in the vehicle preparation measures more often than the planning measures tested in the survey. For example, while 80% always make sure their vehicle is up-to-date on services, only 26% always plan to avoid driving in dimly-lit conditions.
  • In general, the frequency in which drivers plan to avoid potentially challenging or risky driving situations increases with age. For example, older drivers, particularly those age 65 and older, were more likely than their younger counterparts to always make alternative plans for bad weather, plan to avoid driving in dimly-lit conditions, choose a route that avoids confusing intersections, and choose a route that avoids high speed roads.
  • Drivers understand the importance of having certain safety items in their car when taking trips. For example, over nine-in-ten say that a spare tire (98%), a cell phone (96%), and cash (92%) are important items to have in their car. Furthermore, drivers report typically having these items in their car when taking a trip. For example, over nine-in-ten report typically having a spare tire (99%), a cell phone (96%), and cash (92%) in their car. However, in some cases, there is a discrepancy between the percentage of drivers who believe an item is important and the percentage of drivers who typically have the item in their car. Most notably, seven-in-ten respondents believe flares, warning triangles and reflectors are important, while only 37 percent say they typically have them in their car.
  • Perhaps in part due to the preparation and planning behaviors drivers already engage in, most drivers do not worry about potential challenges they may face, such as getting lost or their car breaking down. A majority of drivers, however, do worry about adverse weather conditions.
  • Roughly half of drivers (54%) typically use a navigation system when taking a trip of 50 miles or more. Although the use of navigation systems decreases with age, four-in-ten drivers age 65+ typically use the device when taking trips.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of adults belong to a roadside assistance program. This figure increases with age, with eight-in-ten drivers age 65+ (77%) belonging to a program. Drivers also report having the phone number of the roadside assistance program readily available when traveling in their car.
  • The overwhelming majority of drivers say that they know how to change a tire (80%) and jump-start a car (81%).
Categories: AARP, motor vehicles, safety

Identity Theft: Who’s At Risk?

October 27, 2014 Comments off

Identity Theft: Who’s At Risk?
Source: AARP Research

This AARP Fraud Watch Network study aimed to assess Americans’ habits around protecting their personal and financial information. Overall, the study finds that many are not taking precautions necessary to reduce their risk of identity theft.

A Sense of Déjà Vu: The Debate Surrounding State Biosimilar Substitution Laws

September 23, 2014 Comments off

A Sense of Déjà Vu: The Debate Surrounding State Biosimilar Substitution Laws
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

The Affordable Care Act created an approval pathway for less expensive generic versions of biologic drugs, known as biosimilars, or follow-on biologics. This Insight on the Issues discusses controversial new state legislation that could greatly limit the savings from biosimilars and notes similarities to the debate ignited by the passage of federal legislation that encouraged the development of traditional generic drugs.

Work and Health Insurance for 50- to 64-Year Olds

September 12, 2014 Comments off

Work and Health Insurance for 50- to 64-Year Olds
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

Work is a critical gateway to health insurance. Nearly two-thirds of 50- to 64-year olds had employer-sponsored health insurance in 2012 . But working is not a guarantee of employer-sponsored health insurance. Part-time workers and the self-employed are much less likely than full-time workers to have insurance through their employment. Getting coverage as a dependent on a family member’s employer plan plays an important role for some workers and nonworkers. Health reform offers new coverage options to workers and others who do not have access to coverage through work.

This Fact Sheet discusses the prevalence of employer coverage among 50- to 64-year-olds overall and by work status as of 2012, and new options for coverage.

Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care to People with Cognitive and Behavioral Health Conditions

August 28, 2014 Comments off

Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care to People with Cognitive and Behavioral Health Conditions
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

Family caregiving is difficult and stressful. Providing care and support to people with cognitive or behavioral health conditions is doubly challenging. This paper reports on results from a national survey showing that caregivers of family members with challenging behaviors were more likely to perform more than one medical/nursing task, such as managing medications, and often do so with resistance from the person they are trying to help. Yet they receive little or no instruction or guidance on how to do this important work. This analysis offers recommendations for assisting family caregivers who play this dual role.

This is the third “Insight on the Issues” series, drawn from additional analysis of data based on a December 2011 national survey of 1,677 family caregivers, 22 percent of whom were caring for someone with one or more challenging behaviors. Earlier findings were published in the groundbreaking Public Policy Institute/United Hospital Fund report Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care.
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2014 Multicultural Population Quick Facts

July 22, 2014 Comments off

2014 Multicultural Population Quick Facts
Source: AARP Research

This set of fact sheets provides a one-page snapshot of 50+ African American and Hispanic populations in select metropolitan markets.

Each fact sheet includes information on the population size, education, employment, income, grandparents living with grandchildren, food insecurity and buying power. Hispanic/Latino fact sheets also include data on citizenship status and English language use.

Data points are based on the most recent available from cited sources and represent the 50+ population unless otherwise indicated.

Impact of Finances 50+ Training Classes on Individuals’ Financial Behaviors

July 15, 2014 Comments off

Impact of Finances 50+ Training Classes on Individuals’ Financial Behaviors
Source: AARP Research

AARP Foundation, in collaboration with Charles Schwab Foundation, designed and disseminated a financial capability curriculum targeted to the 50+ age group to approximately 11 organizations nationwide. Classes were offered beginning in September 2012 through December 2013. Approximately 2,775 people participated in these classes.

The purpose of the report is to evaluate the impact of the financial training by:

  • Comparing behaviors relating to key financial topics before and after participating in the class
  • Determining whether desired financial behaviors increased after participating in the class

A pre-test post-test evaluation methodology was designed by AARP in which financial behaviors, including behaviors around spending, saving, budgeting, investing, handling debt, etc., were measured prior to training and at two follow-up time points (3- and 6-month post training). Analysis of respondents’ financial behaviors pre- and post-training reveals notable findings on the impact of the training classes:

1. Participants’ levels of anxiety about their financial situations decreased significantly from before to after the training, with the proportion “very worried” dropping by 36% (from 22% to 14%) from pre-training to six months post-training, while those “not very/not at all worried” increased 24% (from 34% to 42%) during the same time period.

2. Participant scores on the Financial Management Behavior Scale (FMBS) measured at three points in time show that there was a statistically significant improvement in average scale scores pre- and post-training.

3. Looking at other discrete indicators of change in financial behaviors, most significant post-training (6-month) change was found in the following “positive” behaviors:

  • calculating net worth
  • reducing financial fees
  • reducing spending and/or increasing earnings
  • prioritizing debt payment
  • reviewing credit card statement

Likewise, frequency of some “negative” behaviors declined significantly 6 months post, including:

  • being overdrawn
  • being contacted by a collector
  • taking out a payday loan

4. Developing a clear financial goal was a major accomplishment for those who took the training, with a 50% improvement rate in participants setting a goal. Among those with a defined goal, the proportion with an Action Plan increased 40% by the end of the study period.

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