Central New York, Syracuse

AARP Conducts Safe Driving Refresher Course For Seniors In Syracuse

AARP Safe Driving Course Instructor, Victor Debenedittis speaks the on specific challenges facing senior drivers.

By Benjamin Ekpenyong SYRACUSE (NCC NEWS) – The AARP is conducting a refresher course in Syracuse to help older residents stay sharp while driving.

The challenges of declining vision, cognition and motor skills increases the odds of serious injuries and even death for seniors who are still driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are older drivers on the road now than previous generations and this trend is expected to continue well into the future. It is estimated that there will be 40 million older drivers by 2020.

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research more than 75 percent of drivers aged 65 and older use one or more medication. But many of them are not aware of the effects medication can have on driving performance.

Some individuals who have attended this course are curious about new technology and safety devices that have been built into modern cars.

“I wanted to know how the modern technology and in-car gadgets are operated and what new safety items have been introduced in cars so I can use them,” said Al Somro an IT consultant who has attended the course.

One of such beneficial technology is the rear-view camera which will soon be standard on all new vehicles.

A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IHSS) concludes that the use of rear-view camera cuts down backing crashes especially for older drivers who often have trouble turning their heads during a reverse drive.

All new vehicles under 10,000 pounds must have them by this month.

There are several danger signals to watch for in an older driver; two or more signs may translate into a problem with driving safely:

  •  Memory loss (not occasional and combined with other signs)
  •  Problems with judgment, indecisiveness
  • Disorientation
  • Disinhibition (no longer feeling inhibited – improper behavior in social situations)
  • Dysmobility (loss of coordination)
  • Functional losses, such as trouble walking, incontinence, swallowing.

Individuals who register for the safe driving refresher course will qualify for a discount on their car insurance and a reduction of points on their driving record.

The course is open to drivers of all ages who want to refresh their driving skills and improve safety on the road.

The AARP course will be offered Tues June 5 or Wed June 6, 2018 from 9am to noon at the North Syracuse Parks and Recreation Center. The course can also be taken online.

Intending participants can register online at aarpdriversafety.org

Rev. Earl Fraley, a senior with a valid driving licence after the age of 100. (AP)