Classes held to aid senior drivers
September 15, 2010
Ongoing classes designed for the elderly educate them on driver safety, providing information to avoid accidents.
Instructor Lawrence Jackson said the AARP Driver Safety Programs aimed at those who have reached age 50 cover many changes in driving since the students first started driving. Some began before vehicles included seat belts, he said, which evolved into shoulder belts over the years.
Air bags also provide an innovation some drivers did not begin driving with, Jackson said. In addition, he said some learned to pump their brakes before anti-lock braking systems required operators to hold down the brake pedal firmly.
The courses offered at the Senior Center and Senior Community Center also cover new additions to roadways, Jackson said, such as lemon-lime green pedestrian signs. Students also learn the significance of different lanes, he said, such as diamond lanes.
“We talk about how as a person ages they see changes in their vision health,” Jackson said. “The course helps people recognize these problems and what they can do to drivers.”
Alcohol does not dissipate as quickly in the bodies of elderly people, Jackson said. He said medications can also interfere with driving.
At some point, Jackson said the time comes for a person to quit driving. The course familiarizes the elderly with alternative forms of transportation, he said.
The program has the following remaining dates for the Fall 2010-Spring 2011 schedule:
¯ Thursday Sept. 16-Friday Sept. 17 1-5 p.m. 8 hours Senior Center 723-3237
¯ Tuesday Oct. 5 1-5 p.m. 4 hours Senior Community center 723-4180
¯ Friday Nov. 2 1-5 p.m. 4 hours Senior Center 723-3227
¯ Thursday Dec. 2 5:30-9:30 p.m. 4 hours Senior Community Center 723-4180
¯ Thursday Jan. 13-Friday Jan. 14 1-5 p.m. 8 hours New Senior Center, contact to be announced when building opens
¯ Thursday Feb. 17 5:30-9:30 p.m. 4 hours New Senior Center
¯ Friday March 11 1-5 p.m. 4 hours New Senior Center
¯ Saturday May 21 8 a.m.-4 p.m. 8 hours New Senior Center