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AARP Smart Driver Course: Objectives and Outline

Refresh your driving skills online or in a classroom

The AARP Smart Driver Course is designed to help you accomplish the following:

  • Learn research-based safety strategies that can reduce the likelihood of having a crash
  • Understand the links among the driver, vehicle and road environment, and how this awareness encourages safer behavior
  • Learn how aging, medications, alcohol and other health-related issues affect driving ability, and ways to adjust to allow for these changes
  • Increase confidence
  • Know how to drive safely when sharing the road with other road users
  • Learn the newest safety and advanced features in vehicles
  • Learn when driving may no longer be safe
  • Explore other ways to travel

The course is structured into six units that cover a variety of driving topics. Here are the general points taught in each of the units:

Unit 1: Why Are We Here?

Evaluate your current knowledge of driving rules and situations. Review the course objectives and explore the course content. Discuss the reasons for taking a driver safety course.

Unit 2: What’s Changing?

Learn how our driving is affected by changes in ourselves, and medications, medical conditions, alcohol, vision, hearing, brain health, flexibility, strength and endurance. Discuss new vehicle technologies. Review changes in roadway designs.

Unit 3: What Practices Make Us Safer?

Review important safe driving practices, skills and strategies, including pretrip planning and self-preparation, checking your vehicle before you go, adjusting and/or choosing features to make driving more enjoyable, and reviewing roadway fundamentals. Discuss state-specific topics related to safe driving practices. Assess our current knowledge of safe driving practices.

Unit 4: What Strategies Apply?

Review best practices for safe driving. Examine driving situations that statistics show to be dangerous, such as intersections, passing, right-of-way and merging, inclement weather, and sharing the road with others. Discuss how to react safely to those kinds of situations.

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Unit 5: What About the Future?

Review the warning signs of unsafe driving. Recognize the importance and benefits of assessing our driving skills periodically. Recognize the importance of staying mobile even if not driving. Review how to develop a plan for using other transportation options.

Unit 6: What Have We Learned?

Review key lessons learned, including understanding how changes can affect our driving, using strategies to extend our years of safe driving, exploring multiple travel options that help maintain our mobility and independence.

Are you ready to take the AARP Smart Driver Course?

Find a classroom course near you or register for the online course today. For more information, call toll-free to 888-AARP-NOW (888-227-7669) or visit

Also of interest: Quiz: Are you a smart driver?

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