Alert
Close

Chat retirement strategies with AARP’s Jean Setzfand today, Oct. 24th, at 2:00 p.m. ET

Highlights

Open
Introducing RealPad by AARP

 

 

AARP Auto Buying Program

 

 

You and Your Town Contest-You could win an AARP RealPad

 

 

 

 

America's Winter Escapes Sweepstakes

 

 

FREE FUN!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Home & Transportation
Resources

AARP Driver Safety

Retraining courses and counseling. Go

Home Fit Guide

How to make your house a home — for life. Go

Housing and Mobility Publications

Free booklets on home modification, design and transportation options. Go

 

Viewed

Pennsylvania

Programs to Keep Older Drivers Safe

Added bonus: A 5 percent discount on insurance premiums

A woman leans against ship railing, cruising by yourself

Traveling Solo?

Connect with others and find travel buddies in the Single Travelers online community group.

B.J. Riley, AARP Driver Safety class

B.J. Riley, 88, of Lansdale, took an AARP Driver Safety class because she felt it was time for a refresher course. The class covers the newest rules of the road and how new car features function. — Matt Roth

As a 19-year-old nursing student with a sky blue Chevrolet sitting in her Lansdale driveway, B.J. Riley wasn't thinking about automobile safety.

"All I knew was that it had four wheels, and, boy, when I got in it, I could go," she said.

Nearly seven decades later, safety — not speed — resonates with Riley, so she recently signed up for a course with AARP Driver Safety.

"I thought I needed a refresher. I'm 88 years old," she said.

The course, taught by volunteers, is aimed at the 3 million Pennsylvania drivers who are 55 or older, including nearly 28,000 licensed drivers 91 or older.

Many class participants recall when roads had just two lanes, cars couldn't talk and drivers hardly ever multitasked.

A Stroudsburg man told his classmates that he had to crank his first car to start it, but that morning he just pointed his remote-start key at the window while sipping his morning coffee.

The course teaches the newest rules of the road, how new car features function and how to compensate for age-related changes in vision, hearing and reaction time.

Know what to watch for
Instructors also show how to spot a collision in the making and steer clear of it. And there's a segment on recognizing when to hang up your keys for good. (One sign: Are there scrapes and bumps on the car that you can't explain?)

Riley, who recently moved back to Lansdale after 25 years in Florida, said she picked up several useful tips at the class.

One may save her life when she drives south to visit her friends: "I learned that you shouldn't use cruise control when it's raining or the roads are wet because you don't have control of your car. The car's going on its own."

The classroom course costs $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members. An online Driver Safety course is $15.95 for AARP members, $19.95 for nonmembers.

Roland Vonderheide, 79, of Kunkletown, state coordinator for AARP Driver Safety, said an insurance discount is often the initial draw for class attendees.

Pennsylvania requires insurance companies to offer a 5 percent discount on auto insurance to any driver 55 or older who completes the classroom or online course. For the average policyholder, that's a savings of about $45 a year.

Next page: How to find out if your car actually fits you. »

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Video Extra

Older drivers are more fragile than their younger counterparts and are generally less able to withstand the impact from accidents.  Learn how properly fitting your car better protects your safety and that of others on the road.

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

1-800flowers.com (1-800flowers.com)

Members save 20% or $20 on purchases of $79.99  from
Fruitbouquets.com.

Collette Vacations

Members save up to $200 per couple on select tours with Collette Vacations.

Live Nation

Members save 25% or more when buying tickets in groups of four from Ticketmaster.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points

This program is supported by a generous grant from Toyota to AARP Foundation.

*Upon completion, you may be eligible to receive an auto insurance discount. Other restrictions apply.

Consult your agent for details.