Senior Driver Improvement Courses

Sep 28, 2016

Senior Driver Improvement Courses

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The Importance of Senior Driving Courses

Automobiles have become so deeply intertwined with the normality of our world that it is hard to imagine society before the introduction of Henry Ford. Driving allows an individual almost uncapped independence. However, the freedom of independence is not freely given. To utilize this privilege, driving is a skill that must be learned and must be continually improved upon

As the years pass, a multitude of limitations and obstacles, such as deteriorating vision or reactionary skills, can prevent people from utilizing their independence of driving. In 2013, there were 36.8 million licensed drivers 65 years of age or older on America’s roads. According to studies, 17 percent of traffic fatalities, which occurred in the year 2013, were senior licensed drivers. A majority of the seniors involved in automobile accidents were involved in merge-related crashes and intersection-related crashes. The most common error made by elderly drivers is the failure to yield for others’ right of way on the road. This error is made more frequently by those who are 65 and older than the youngest group of drivers; those who are 16-35 years of age. In fact, senior drivers as a whole are the second most risk-related driving group with the second highest rates of fatal crashes. The senior driving statistics fall just behind the most risk-related driving group, 16 to 35-year-old drivers.

Although seniors are the second most at-risk drivers, seniors are traveling more frequently since the end of the 20th century. According to research, miles driven by those who were 70 or older increased by 42 percent from the mid-1990’s to 2008. Combining increased travel with the predicted increase of the elderly population from 30.1 million in 2013 to 53.7 million in 2030, concerns about potential effects on traffic safety are becoming more apparent.

Research has suggested failing vision and slower cognitive reaction caused by aging greatly impacts senior driving skills. Fortunately, different and effective solutions to keep the roads safe have grown in popularity. Research shows cognitive function, like the skills needed to safely operate a vehicle, can be improved through brain training. This type of training and knowledge is offered through a variety of adult driving courses geared towards seniors.

Adult driving courses do not re-teach the whole driver’s handbook. The courses focus on such things as learning new automobile safety features implemented to avoid the most common types of accidents and recently passed driving laws. For young adults learning to drive, driving school and hours of practice are mandatory to ensure the young drivers and those around them are safe. As humans, practice is key to keeping necessary skills sharp. Because senior drivers are close behind young drivers in fatal numbers, offering education to renew an array of vital information is key to navigating through and decreasing the tragic senior driving statistics.

To increase interest in continued driving education, many adult driving programs and insurance programs offer major insurance discounts and incentives for those willing to participate. Just like the young adult group, insurance has stereotyped elderly drivers due to unfortunate data. Incentives for insurance can be exceedingly beneficial. For more information, keeping reading to view the list of a few nationally offered adult-driving courses.

National Adult Driving Courses

AAA Driver Improvement Courses for Seniors

AAA is a nationally recognized membership-based roadside assistance business for automobiles with a range of services provided. AAA offers driver improvement courses for seniors who are members of AAA. These courses are nationally offered online or in the classroom. The course focuses on new technology in automobiles and how it affects the skill of driving. At the completion of the course, members are eligible for potential discounts on insurance premiums. To find a local adult driving course through AAA, please visit this site.

The AARP Smart Driver Course

AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, is a nationally recognized membership and interest group for Americans over the age of 50. Dedicated to helping the senior population, AARP offers the AARP Smart Driver Course through the AARP Driver Safety program. The Smart Driver Course is focused on an array of knowledge such as teaching avoidance of most common crashes for the elderly, proper use of new automobile technology, navigating medical effects on driving, and the like. This adult driving course is offered nationwide online or in a classroom. AARP also allows the participant to choose the language of the course if needed. AARP purposely does not test at the completion of the course fostering a relaxed and pressure free environment to learn and better develop the skill of driving. At the completion of this course, the participant may receive insurance discounts. To find more information about the AARP Smart Driver Course, please follow this link.

Mature Driver Course for Senior Drivers by idrivesafely

Based wholly online, the website is dedicated to safe driving education. Through this company, senior drivers can enroll in an online only adult driving course. This adult course is set at the individual’s pace and allows the participant to create a personalized course schedule. One of the major benefits of this online course is the potential insurance discount for voluntarily continuing adult driving education. To enroll in the online Mature Driver Course for Senior Drivers, please visit this site.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can a senior with Alzheimer's disease still drive safely?

A senior in the early stage of Alzheimer’s or another dementia-related condition does not necessarily need to stop driving. However, drivers with these conditions might not know when they are an unsafe driver. As a senior, you should have a friend or family member that is willing to tell you when your driving becomes unsafe.

It is also important to tell a friend or family member if you become confused while driving. Seniors with moderate to severe dementia should not drive.

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My dad recently had his license revoked by his doctor due to his Alzheimers. But he REFUSES to stop driving. He's very dangerous on the road! How can we get him to stop?

One symptom of Alzheimer's Disease is thinking that others are plotting or scheming against you. He probably feels like you are "out to get him" and are trying to take away his independence. Take the car away, and hide the keys to your vehicles. If your father asks about the car, insist that it is away for repairs. Volunteer to drive your dad where it is he needs to go. It may hurt to tell your dad these tall tales, but it would be even worse if he got on the road and hurt himself or someone else.

I'm sorry you have to be in this situation, but just remember that if there is no car, there is no driving.

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