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AARP Driver Safety Program Reaches a Milestone - Twenty Five Years and Counting

Years ago, we used to travel over the river and through the woods to our grandparent's house for the holidays. Today, many of us spend as much or more time on interstates driving to visit family and friends. Safe driving is more important than ever during the holiday season, and AARP is keeping American drivers on course as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Driver Safety Program. AARP understands that driving is not just a matter of convenience today—it is a means of independence and being in control.

In a recent study, graduates reported that they took what they learned and changed a number of driving behaviors to make themselves and others safer on the road. "The course is designed as a refresher and to provide guidance and strategies for safe driving," said Frank Carroll, AARP Director of Mobility Issues. "Our research shows that at least 92% of the graduates said that they had changed at least one behavior as a result of taking a course including checking for blind spots, maintaining a safe following distance, and paying more attention when entering or exiting highways." In addition, 63% of the graduates felt that participating in the Driver Safety Program course has helped them prevent being involved in a traffic accident.

Other Key Findings:

  • 94% of the graduates would recommend the course to friends or relatives.
  • Driving situations graduates are concerned about include:
    Distracted drivers-95%
    Aggressive drivers-93%
    Drunk drivers-92%

For 25 years, the AARP Driver Safety Program has operated with one thing in mind—to make older drivers safer drivers. More than 9 million drivers have benefited from the eight-hour refresher course, which offers guidance in reassessing physical abilities and making adjustments accordingly. Each year approximately 34,000 courses are held in communities nationwide.

The AARP Driver Safety Program course is taught by over 10,000 AARP-trained volunteers who provided an estimated 3.1 million hours of service in 2003. About half of the instructors have been a driver safety program volunteer for five or more years.

The program continues to be a leading resource in communities, and through AARP state partnerships with senior centers, libraries, banks, veterans groups and chambers of commerce, and other community organizations, the AARP Driver Safety Program looks forward to its next 25 years of helping individuals retain their driving competencies to the maximum extent possible.

People interested in taking the Driver Safety program course can call toll-free 1-888-227-7669 to find a course in their area. Information about volunteering, opportunities for community partnerships, course locations, and much more can be found at www.aarp.org/drive.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to making life better for people 50 and over. We provide information and resources; engage in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy; assist members in serving their communities; and offer a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for our members. These include AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our quarterly publication for Hispanic members; NRTA Live and Learn for National Retired Teachers Association members; and our Web site, www.aarp.org. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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If you are an AARP member and not with the press, call 1-888-OUR-AARP or email member@aarp.org.

 

For media inquiries, please contact the AARP Media Relations Office at (202) 434-2560 or media@aarp.org.

 

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