Driver Safety Courses to Improve Driving Habits of Elderly Drivers


Much has been said of the risky driving habits of elderly folks, and a lot of driving jokes have been created at their expense. It is a taken that older drivers have on average slower reaction times and weaker eyesight than younger drivers.  However one other pressing problem with this age group is that a good number of them are not aware of many important traffic rules.

Driver Safety Courses to Improve Driving Habits of Elderly DriversMany senior drivers admit to not having attended driving classes and seminars to update themselves of new traffic and road rules.  AARP Driver Safety Program, since 1979 has helped educate drivers and are now actively reaching out to older members of the society to encourage them to attend driving workshops and seminars.

AARP offers different driving courses all over the country.  Their classes are divided between two categories, driver safety and defensive driver, and applicants are free to choose from of the two.  People are not required to be members of the AARP to attend classes and drivers do not have to meet age requirements to enrol in the company’s driving courses.

When you attend AARP’s driver safety courses, you will be taught effective principles on safety driving, such as proper distancing between cars, and coping techniques during low road visibility.  Issues such as vision impairments and reaction time are also discussed in classes. Courses are offered free to the public.  However, if you wish to acquire certification, you need to purchase a workbook, which costs $14 for non-members and $12 for active AARP members.  A certification can also allow you to negotiate for discounts with your auto insurer.

On the other hand, defensive driving courses are intended for drivers who have accumulated a high number of traffic violations and are on the brink of the losing their license because of such.  Topics discussed in classes include road courtesy, managing difficult road conditions, blind spots, proper lane changing, and how to approach intersections.   Course fees range from $45 to $80.

AARP also offer online courses for busy individuals.  Internet classes feature driving simulations to mimic real conditions and illustrations that explain various driving theories and principles.  Since these are not typical classes where students adhere to fixed schedules, online driving courses allow individuals to learn at their own pace.  AARP’s online classes have so far received positive feedback from a number of participants, with many stating that they have learned to become more responsible and safer drivers because of the courses.

Another advantage of completing these courses is that older drivers can get discounts on their auto insurance premium. So far there are existing laws in 36 states that require insurance companies to reduce auto insurance fees for drivers 55 years old and up who have finished at least one classroom driver safety course.  To continue to enjoy discounts, elderly drivers must attend driving seminars every three years.

To date, AARP is lobbying Congress to expand auto insurance fee reduction laws to include online driving courses.