The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration predicts that the number of senior-citizen drivers will increase dramatically over the next 20 years as baby boomers age. As the number of elderly drivers increase, so does the possibility for crashes, according to officials.
But just like teens taking driver's education in school, education programs for senior drivers help elderly motorists relearn driving basics.
The American Association of Retired Persons will hold a driver safety class for drivers ages 50 and older. The class, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, will be from 1 to 5 p.m. at Gibbs Library, 326 N.Belair Road, Evans.
"The whole program is designed for people over 50 who may have developed some bad habits in driving and don't realize it," AARP instructor Russ Quarles said. "They're reminded of some of the bad habits they run into and the corrections for that."
Topics covered in the course include vision and hearing changes, effects of medication, reaction time changes, left turns and other right-of-way situations, new laws and hazardous driving situations, according to the AARP Web site.
Quarles, a 76-year-old retired safety engineer at Ford Motor Company and the assistant state coordinator for AARP Driving, said a big problem among older drivers is the inability for some to maintain focus.
"As we get older we tend to daydream more," he said. "'Did I go through that light? Should I have turned there? Did I miss something?' That gets more frequent as you get older."
In addition to improved driving skills, many insurance companies offer discounted rated for seniors successfully completing the course.
Registration for the AARP driver safety course is required and costs $10. For more information, call 863-1946.
For more information on upcoming courses and locations in Columbia and Richmond counties, call Quarles at 863-0003.
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