The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Features

March 30, 2013

Older drivers -- brush up your skills

Attentive readers of this column know that I write about fraud and scams. Each column takes on a different aspect of that never-ending problem. But that is not my only role with Seniors vs. Crime. Beside reducing the victimization of seniors by crime, I work to promote overall safety in the senior citizen community. One way we do this is to partner with the American Association of Retired Persons in its efforts to improve driver safety in older drivers.

Seniors vs. Crime will co-sponsor, along with AARP, an AARP driver safety course, on May 2 at the Clinton Community College Technology Center, located at 1951 Manufacturing Drive. The course will run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. A nice lunch is included.

Why should you take this course in addition to a free lunch? Well, consider these things. Cars have changed. Our roads have changed. Have you driven along Camanche Avenue in Clinton lately?Traffic rules and traffic patterns change. The behavior of other drivers changes. This is demonstrated by the widespread use of cell phones while driving. Perhaps most importantly, we change, as we age. It’s a rare driver who can claim his or her vision improves with age. Driving after dark may become more challenging — our hearing might get impaired and physical reaction times might increase.

Do these signs mean older drivers can’t drive well? No, but we can improve. The AARP course will teach:

n How to minimize effects of blind spots;

n How to maintain safe following distance behind another car;

n Safest ways to change lanes and make turns at busy intersections;

n Proper use of safety belts, air bags, anti-lock brakes and new technology in cars;

n Affects of medication on driving;

n Monitoring and assessing your driving skills and those of others; and

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