Last spring, AARP Driver Safety asked people to tell us what they are driven by — what inspires them to take to the road. We received thousands of entries, and our judging panel selected these as the top five. Congratulations to our winners! We also would like to thank all those who entered our “Driven By” contest — it was an honor reading each and every submission.
Christine - Sharonville, Ohio
“Nothing inspires me to take to the road more than a stash of worn maps in the glove compartment. Unfolding their creases, I see past trips strung along the webs of black, red and blue lines, and my eyes stray to places unmarked by my notations. Maps stir my wanderlust, yet I know [I] can rely on them, confident they will lead me safely to where I want to go. Modern devices have their place, but my maps are like aging friends who have traveled with me and remain to guide me to new destinations.”
Christine is the winner of a $2,500 gift card and her entry will inspire a new AARP Driver Safety print advertisement to appear in AARP The Magazine.
Carol - Plano, Texas
“My father was in the Army, so we were always on our way somewhere, our station wagon loaded with pillows and peanut butter sandwiches, rolling cross-country toward our next new post. America flowed past our windows, meadows and mountaintops and deserts dotted with Joshua trees. At night, I would sleep on the backseat, waking whenever the streetlamps of some little town made silent lightning as we passed. These memories are what I’m driven by — a lifelong wanderlust, a love of the open road and the mystery of what may lie at the end of the journey.”
Carol is the winner of a $1,000 gift card.
Jack - Manchester, N.J.
“Like Marty McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy, my car was transformed from a commuter vehicle to a time machine once I retired. With an abundance of free time, I am able to visit wonderful memories of my childhood vacations. With a doo-wop CD playing, the once-stodgy vehicle allows me to segue from present to past and transports me to adventures and discovery I only dreamed of. Driven by the hope to recapture the freedom and excitement of my youthful sojourns, the key to my car has become the key to Rubicon.”
Jack is the winner of a $500 gift card.
Kathryn - Chesapeake, Va.
“When we were little, our mom (and sometimes dad, too) used to take my sister and I on drives. One time it was just my mom, my sister, myself and our dog, Pee-Wee. We had stopped at a light, and in the car next to us a woman was also stopped at the light. She had her arm out the driver’s window, and in her hand was a vanilla ice cream cone. Pee-Wee ate the ice cream off her cone. Thank God the light changed! We looked back and the woman was still sitting at the light trying to figure out where her ice cream went! After that, Pee-Wee kept looking for anyone at lights with ice cream. She really liked riding with us. She has since gone to heaven, but the memory of that ride lives on.”
Lizabeth - Newnan, Ga.
“As president of my local Meals on Wheels program, I drive to make sure clients have hot meals to eat. I am driven by my passion to prevent senior hunger and keep older persons from being forgotten. I am driven to enlist my community to prevent the fear and despair that food insufficiency creates for older person. In addition to transporting food, my car allows me to reach my audiences and share my message. Our volunteers drove over 34,000 miles last year to be the helping hands and caring hearts for seniors who might otherwise have nothing to eat.”
You may also like: The $50,000 Retirement Trivia Challenge.