As a senior driver, I am aware that as we age, there are certain challenges one faces as an older driver. I have long stated that if ever I become a hazard on the road, I will gladly relinquish my driver’s license and take other means of transportation to meet my travel needs. In 2006, my husband and I enrolled in our first AARP Driver Safety course and we have nothing but praise for the 6 hour course. Just recently, we completed the class which you usually take every three years to update your knowledge and skills. Not only did we receive a review of best driving practices but we also reviewed common driving hazards and safe driving strategies to help us maintain good, safe driving techniques. An added benefit of taking the course, is you do not have to be a senior citizen to take the course and often you are eligible to receive a welcome discount off your automobile insurance premium. The AARP Driver Safety Course is offered online as a convenience to those who prefer taking the course from the comfort of home..
At our recent AARP Driver Safety course which was held at a nearby senior center, we were given a participant workbook and viewed videos covering a variety of topics such as recognizing how our our vision, hearing, and physical condition impact our driving as well as knowing how our vehicles operate. The course covered driving assessment and how to accept that the time has come to give up our driving and enlist alternative modes of transportation to take us to various activities. After viewing the videos, the group discussed the video’s content and answered the questions in the participant workbook. In our group, the participants often shared helpful information and brought up personal incidents that helped us to be mindful of driver safety.
According to the AARP Driver Safety workbook, drivers in the age group of 50 and older are involved in no more traffic crashes than middle age drivers until approximately age 75 when there is an increase over the middle age drivers. Also, driver deaths reportedly are much higher after age 75 which can be partly attributable to our diminished ability to recover from the impact of crashes. We have all experienced driving or riding behind an elderly driver who is driving too slowly, erratically or is apparently distracted by something inside the car. Such behaviors lend themselves to causing accidents and unnecessary physical injuries. Taking the AARP Driver Safety course helps one to improve or be aware of bad driving techniques and to review ways of improving one’s driving skills and lessen accidents due to careless driving habits.
I am pleased that the AARP offers the Driver Safety course and find that it is helpful in reminding me to stay alert and aware of my driving environment at all times as well as practice safe, effective driving techniques. Driving in today’s society is not for the faint of heart! For more information about where the AARP Driver Safety courses are offered as well as its online safety driving course, contact your local AARP office or visit the website www.aarp.org. Local newspapers, senior centers, and community agencies often list dates and times of the AARP class offerings. Be sure to contact your insurance company to see if a discount is offered on your insurance premium. At the completion of the course, you are given a certificate with the pertinent information to give to your insurance carrier. An evaluation sheet is completed by the participants to inform the workshop leader of their opinion of the course and suggestions to make the course better. I, for one, give the course a grade of “excellent”. Remember, the AARP Driver Safety course is open to motorists under and over age 50 alike. I recommend you take advantage of the opportunity to review and refresh your driving skills. It’s well worth the time and effort.