Time to get cracking on those new years resolutions! The new year is finally here, and as Hoosiers are reflecting on ways to better themselves, some experts say brushing up on driving skills is always a good resolution. While geared toward those aged 50 and older, AARP’s Smart Driver course can help any driver learn the skills to stay safe behind the wheel.
According to Indiana state coordinator Lesley Pence, trained instructors cover the ever-changing challenges on the roads, including construction, cul-de-sacs, roundabouts and dangerous weather conditions.
“There are so many new things that are happening that it is a learning process, and even though we might be a little older, we have to continue to learn to deal with changing road conditions,” said Pence.
Pence said 97 percent of those who take the course change at least one driving behavior, and that another important aspect of what they teach people in class is when to look for those signs that it is time to consider giving up driving.
“Unfortunately we all have to cross that bridge someday, and we think that we can help with that so people realize that maybe it is time to turn in the keys,” Pence said.
Pence said the course is helping to both to build confidence in older drivers, and to keep them and others safe on the roads.
“A number of older people have come back to me and said, ‘You know, what we actually learned in class did save our lives.’ That’s why it’s so important to give these people something that can help them and keep them driving longer on the road,” Pence said.
The AARP Smart Driver course is offered in both classroom and online settings, and you do not need to be an AARP member to take it. Additionally, some insurance companies offer discounts upon completion of the course. For more information about courses in Indiana, visit AARP.org/IN.