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Learning Something New Can Help Keep You Safe on Road

We’ve all heard that physical fitness can help us maintain our flexibility and brain health as we age, but what about our driving skills?

The normal aging process impacts not only our bodies, but our brain’s processing speed. This can result in slower decision-making and reaction time-key skills for safe driving at any age.

Brain training can go a long way in prolonging safe driving. Research has suggested that having a “fit” brain can allow your decision-making skills and reaction time to improve when you’re behind the wheel. Brain fitness can also expand your peripheral vision and improve the speed with which you process information.

To keep brains sharp, experts says we need to do more than just recall information we already know (the main activity of crossword puzzles). Instead, we need to push our brains to learn to do new activities that will create new neural connections in our brains.

Just how do you exercise your brain and create new neural connections? Taking courses, like the AARP Drive Safety Program classroom or on-line course, is a great way to create new neural connections that will challenge your brain.

Volunteering also helps you learn new facts, think on your feet and help form new neural pathways in your brain. What’s more, interacting with others can east stress and extend your memory.

If you’re looking to improve your brain health and your driving at the same time, sign up for an Iowa AARP Driver Safety Program, offered at a community location near you.

AARP Iowa Driver Safety State Coordinator Larry Neppl said a recent University of Iowa study of AARP Driver Safety graduates of classes in Linn County showed class attendees improved a number of skills as a result of taking the course.

“Linn County senior drivers said they are better defensive drivers since learning key techniques in the class such as how to check for conflicts on the road, the importance of braking earlier and how to avoid the most common high speed driving problems,” Neppl said.

Learn more about the Driver Safety program and where to find a course in your area, register for the online course or call toll-free 1-888-AARP NOW (1-888-227-7669).

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