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Texas

Safe-Driving Tips for 50-Plus

Insurance firms may offer discounts

Frank Kormos, of the AARP Driver Safety Program in Texas, tells prospective attendees they will learn tips to help save lives, and it may be their own.

Frank Kormos, 96, of Richardson, is an enthusiastic marketing specialist for the AARP Driver Safety Program courses, which he taught for many years. The classes are geared to people over 50 but are open to all ages. — Photo by Todd Spoth

Frank Kormos knows how to get people's attention when he suggests they take an AARP driver safety class. He says it's all about saving a life.

"You always mention it may be your own," said Kormos, 96, of Richardson.

See also: Why take a driver safety course?

A longtime former instructor in AARP's Driver Safety Program, he's an enthusiastic cheerleader for the classes, which are open to all ages but geared to drivers age 50-plus.

Each year, trained volunteers teach nearly 500,000 course participants safety tips and enable them to refresh their skills in the AARP classes across the nation.

Texas has more than 15 million drivers, with nearly 6 million of them age 50 and older. Last year, nearly 24,000 Texans enrolled in the AARP Driver Safety Program. Now AARP Texas is finding new ways to expand and reach other motorists.

The four-hour classroom course is offered in Spanish and English. Work is under way to provide even more Spanish-language courses later this year, said Henry Hernandez, 70, of Fort Worth, the program's Hispanic coordinator for Texas.

"Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority group in our population. We're going to pick up quite a bit of steam," he said.

To do that, more bilingual instructors are needed, said Gus Cardenas, AARP Texas driver safety coordinator.

In addition, as the outreach to Spanish speakers increases, coordinators are looking for more host sites in Hispanic communities, Hernandez said.

One reason many drivers take the course is to receive an auto insurance premium discount, which can be as high as 10 percent. But discounts for taking the course aren't required in Texas; drivers need to check with their insurers.

Next: Compensating for age-related changes in vision. >>

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