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A Chance for Older Pennsylvanians to Dial In Their Driving


Tuesday, December 3, 2013   

HARRISBURG, Pa. - For older Pennsylvanians, this week serves as a reminder to keep their driving skills sharp and to consider taking a safe-driver course. Older Driver Safety Awareness Week is under way, an important initiative in Pennsylvania, which from 2000 to 2010 saw an increase of more than 15 percent its 65-and-older residents.

According to Desiree Simpson with Seniors for Safe Driving in Butler, Pa., their goal in working with older drivers is to help them get a better handle on today's on-the-road experience.

"They increase their confidence when they're driving around those big trucks, they increase their confidence when they're driving in poor weather," she said. "Their seat belts, how it locks when you just barely touch the brakes, the air bags, things like that."

Julie Lee, vice president and national director of AARP Driver Safety, noted that they offer Safe Driver courses in all 50 states. One objective is to help prevent some of the mistakes older drivers are most likely to make on the road.

"Through our research we found that people were continuing to speed and make errors, especially making left-hand turns, so those are the kinds of things we try to talk about in our course," she said.

Desiree Simpson said senior drivers also can use direction when it comes to new electronic signage in place on roadways.

"There are digital signs, there are reading signs, things like that, so we kind of help them adapt to that, adjust to that and be able to improve their confidence with reading the new, improved signs that the state and that the government are using now."

AARP Driver Safety is helping older drivers by hosting a live Tweet Chat today on the topic of "Driving Smart This Holiday Season." It runs from 2 to 3 p.m. EST via Twitter @AARPdsp.

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