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Summary of 2005 AARP Driver Safety Program Graduate Study

As the nation’s first and largest classroom refresher course for drivers age 50 and older, the AARP Driver Safety Program (DSP) has helped millions of drivers remain safe on today’s roads. The courses are taught by trained volunteer instructors.

This survey of 3,512 people who had taken and graduated from the DSP course between October and December 2004 evaluates their experiences and the course’s impact on them in terms of…

  • usefulness of the course
  • concerns about driving situations
  • changes they made as a result of the course
  • topics to include in future courses


Among the 91 percent of DSP graduates who attributed changing at least one driving behavior to taking the course, the most frequently reported changes correspond to the emphasis of the DSP course material:

  • always checking blind spots
  • following distance and space cushion
  • paying more attention when entering or exiting highways
  • being aware of where they park
  • yielding right of way


While 83 percent credited information learned in the course with helping them prevent being involved in traffic incidents, some said what they learned from the course made them consider limiting the time-of-day when they drove and possibly limiting or stopping driving.

This mail survey of a random sample of DSP graduates was conducted in May 2005. Further information about the study may be obtained by contacting the report’s author, Gail Kutner, at 202-434-6325. (12 pages)

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