Seniors, Driving, and Driving Resources
“Seniors driving” is an important topic for many families. Driving the family car may give a senior a sense of freedom and mobility that has heightened importance after retirement. It may also be the way they can help the family by running errands, picking up the grandchildren or visiting friends who no longer have cars. Programs help from many angles. Some help seniors can discover specific weaknesses that they need to recognize, account for and perhaps overcome. Others help seniors recognize when transportation alternatives may be the best route.
American Automobile Association (AAA) Driver Improvement Program – This is a pretty cool offering that provides advice on compensating for natural declines in vision, reflexes and response time as well effects that medications can have on them. It also provides a defensive driving tune-up. Defensive driving helps drivers reduce or mitigate situations where an accident could occur, before anything starts going wrong. Instructors are certified by the American Driving and Traffic Safety Education Association. Enrollees are NOT evaluated, but rather are made aware of the sometimes subtle effects that aging has on driving and safety skills.
Topics covered including: Seeing (not just looking), margins of safety, vehicle factors, driving emergencies, car “fit”, and an optional driver evaluation is also available if you wish. The link is: https://seniordriving.aaa.com/
AARP has a section of their website devoted to Senior Safe Driving at https://www.aarp.org/auto/driver-safety/ Articles and on-line courses help with all manner of helpful topics. Among the recent trends is more distracted driving, and for seniors, who have car sensor warnings, cell phones and GPS directions all vying for their attention, this acn be especially difficult. Check out the AARP link!
CARFIT is another interesting resource. It is a product of the combined efforts of ASA, AARP, AAA and AOTA. Detailed information is available at www.car-fit.org . At a Car-fit event, technicians and/or health professionals work with each driver to tune the vehicle for maximum comfort and safety, which takes about 20 minutes. Events tend towards more populated areas, so rural coverage may be difficult. An event may coincide with a Florida vacation however, so check the schedule available on the website.
Roadside Rx is a free, helpful, and confidential online tool developed by the AAA Foundation to provide personalized feedback about how drug side effects and interactions may impact your driving safety. More info can be found at http://www.roadwiserx.com/ .
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