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2008 AARP Driver Safety Program Course Evaluation

The AARP Driver Safety Program (DSP) is the nation’s first and largest classroom course for drivers age 50 and older. The program was created in 1979 to encourage safe driving among older Americans. A survey of 5,404 DSP participants sought to determine whether participants had changed any of 17 key driving behaviors (such as avoiding left turns or limiting driving) as a result of what they had learned in the course.

The study found that:

  • Almost all participants (93%) had changed at least one key driving behavior. In fact, the average number of behaviors changed was seven.
  • The most common behaviors changed were always checking blind spots (73%), following distance and space cushion (65%), and paying more attention when entering or exiting highways (60%). The least cited behavior changed was considering limiting or stopping driving (9%).
  • Older participants and participants who had taken the DSP course more than once tended to report more behavior change than younger participants and those who had taken the class for the first time.
  • Satisfaction with the DSP course is very high. Nearly one-third of non-AARP members (32%) said they would be more likely to join AARP as a result of the course.

This mail survey was conducted for AARP by SAID, Inc. among 5,404 DSP participants who took the course between May and August 2008. Further information about the study may be obtained from its author, Laura Skufca, at 202-434-6285. (20 pages)

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