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This November, AARP Driver Safety Salutes Veterans

In honor of Veterans Day and in recognition of the dedication and commitment of our veterans, AARP Driver Safety is offering a free classroom course (or 50 percent off its online course) to all members of the U.S. armed forces. This offer includes all active duty, veteran, guard or reserve during the entire month of November.

See Also: Why take a driver safety course?

AARP Driver Safety offered this Veterans Promotion for the first time last November, and in Montana, last year nearly 500 veterans took advantage of the opportunity to refresh their driving skills. Montana is home to the country's second-highest per capita veterans' population.

Navigating today's roads can be challenging for all drivers, but military veterans face particular challenges behind the wheel. Studies have shown that veterans are more likely to be involved in car crashes than other drivers. In fact, traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for military personnel in their first year after returning home from war.

After reviewing the driving records of tens of thousands of our troops, USAA discovered that service members were involved in at-fault accidents 13 percent more frequently after deployments. Although it's not clear why our veterans are more prone to accidents than their non-military peers, most experts agree that it has to do with stress and trauma they experienced while deployed.

Not only does Montana have the second highest veterans’ population in the nation, Montana also has the nation’s highest traffic fatality rate according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With a sobering statistic like this, it is important for Montanans to be vigilant while behind the wheel. The AARP Driver Safety program is helping veterans and older Montana drivers do just that. Research has shown that AARP’s classroom course makes a difference in how people drive, and ultimately help reduce accidents. Also,auto insurance companies in Montana are required to offer a premium discount to course participants. Other restrictions may apply. Participants should consult their auto insurance agent for details.

In Montana more than 100 volunteers across the state deliver, manage, and promote the Driver Safety program. They include volunteer instructors who teach the course and volunteer coordinators who manage the program in specific locations. Last year, 256 Driver Safety courses were held throughout the state and over 4,000 Montanans completed the course.

This offer is available to individuals who serve or have served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and the National Guard and Reserves. Spouses (including domestic partners, widows and widowers) dependents and children are also eligible to take advantage of this promotion.

The AARP Driver Safety course teaches valuable defensive driving skills and provides a refresher of the "rules of the road." Since 1979, the course has helped over 14 million drivers nationwide learn proven safety strategies and tips.

To redeem the free classroom course offer, veterans and their family members must present a completed coupon to the instructor at the time of registration or payment. No additional identification is required. Course coupons are available for download at www.aarp.org/veterans.

With courses offered in communities throughout Montana, veterans should have little difficulty finding a class that's conveniently located. Classes are limited in size and fill up quickly, so those interested should call early to find a class that fits their needs. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Visit AARP Driver Safety's Classroom Course Locator or call 1-888-AARP-NOW (1-888-227-7669) to find a course.

As an alternative to the classroom course, veterans and their families are invited to take the AARP Driver Safety online course at 50 percent off the normal course price. In the online course, participants will learn the same valuable tips and information as they would in the classroom course, but they can take it at their own pace from their home.

To receive 50 percent off of the online course, visit www.aarpdriversafety.org and enter the promotion code "Veterans" when prompted during registration and checkout. The promotion code is valid from Nov. 1 through Nov. 30, 2012. Upon registration, participants will have 60 days to complete the online course.

For more information, visit www.aarp.org/veterans or email drive@aarp.org.

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