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Safety Behind the Wheel for Seniors

PHOTO: It's Drive Safely Work Week, and AARP Kentucky is encouraging older drivers to take a refresher course. Photo by Greg Stotelmyer.
PHOTO: It's Drive Safely Work Week, and AARP Kentucky is encouraging older drivers to take a refresher course. Photo by Greg Stotelmyer.
October 10, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - While many Kentuckians think of driver's ed as something just for teenagers, experts say a refresher course makes good safety and financial sense, even for those who have had their driver's licenses for several decades.

AARP Kentucky's Driver Safety Program coordinator, Leon Morrow, says driving a car today isn't the same as it was when many older Kentuckians first got behind the wheel.

"The roads have changed, the cars have changed, the laws have changed and most importantly, the senior citizen himself has changed. My eyesight is not what it used to be, my hearing is not what it used to be, and critically, the reaction time is way off."

In honor of "Drive Safely Work Week," AARP Kentucky is offering members and non-members alike a 30-percent discount on its online Driver Safety course. Morrow says to check with your insurance agent to see if they honor the online course.

Mary Tillman, state coordinator, AARP Missouri Driver Safety Program, says brushing up on driving skills is first and foremost about saving lives by preventing accidents. But she says it can also save drivers money.

"We have found in a lot of cases, your personal insurance agent may be willing to give you a discount because you have taken a defensive-driving course," Tillman says.

Since it first launched in 1979, 13 million drivers age 50 and older have completed the AARP Driver Safety program. Details and registration are at www.aarpdriversafety.org

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY