Many of us have not read a driver license handbook since we were 16. For some, that’s more than 50 years ago. In that time, driving laws have changed and the law of gravity has caught up to us. It is time to remedy one of those problems – with a driving refresher or safety school. We can do it by attending a local class or going online.
Local classes update you on changes in traffic laws, signs and signals, and offer safe driving tips. Some also offer behind-the-wheel assessments to sharpen your individual driving skills. Call your auto insurance company to see if it offers a discount for successful completion of a driver safety program.
The best known programs are offered by AARP, the National Safety Council and AAA (or Google “senior driving course” or “mature driving course.”)
Both online and in-class courses are offered by AARP. Visit www.aarp.com or call 888-AARP-NOW (227-7669) for info on the “55 Alive Mature Driver Program. The classroom course costs $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members. The cost for the online course is $15.95 for members and $19.95 for nonmembers.
To locate a classroom course call toll-free 1-888-AARP-NOW (1-888-227-7669) or visit www.aarp.org/findacourse. Course times, dates and locations are listed along with a phone number to register. To register for the online course, visit aarpdriversafety.org.
AAA offers its AAA Driver Improvement Program designed to help senior drivers be safer while staying behind the wheel longer. The program is specifically for drivers 55 and older. It delivers tips and techniques to help experienced drivers compensate for changing vision, reflexes and response time; understand how prescription medications may affect driving; and drive defensively in a variety of situations. Call your local AAA for course schedules and locations.
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) also offers a program with AAA and AARP for senior drivers, see: http://www.car-fit.org.
National Safety Council
Contact the National Safety Council for information on its “Coaching the Mature Driver Program.” For a training center near you, call 1-800-621-7619 or 1-800-621-6244 or visit www.nsc.org and click on “Safety on the Road.”
This mobility safety update has been brought to you by NMEDA – the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. Need some information on how to make your vehicle wheelchair accessible or upgraded with the latest and most convenient features? Contact a NMEDA dealer in your local area. Your local NMEDA member is a mobility equipment and accessibility expert!