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AARP Driver Safety Program Salutes Veterans

October 31, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Staying independent is important to older Americans, and being able to drive safely is a skill that sometimes needs attention. In November, AARP is honoring veterans and their service to the country by offering a free driver-safety class to veterans and their spouses.

Les Pence, an army veteran and volunteer instructor for AARP, says many older drivers are less confident.

"They do have a problem when it comes to getting on and off interstate highways, knowing what's going on and staying alert."

Pence says the four-hour classroom instruction helps with confidence and teaches people how to deal with new driving challenges like navigating roundabouts.

Pence warns older drivers to take note of red flags. Incidents like minor accidents can indicate it might be time to give up driving, he says.

"When you approach an intersection and you're confused and you come to a complete stop - older people do this because they're not sure which lane to get in, and that type of thing."

The course also provides techniques to deal with an older person's physical changes, he adds.

"Older people are unique in that they have vision problems, they have hearing problems and they have to compensate for those things in order to drive."

Veterans can sign up for their free class at 1-888-AARP-NOW or log on to www.aarp.org/drive.

Leigh DeNoon, Public News Service - IN