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Senior scene

March 2, 2013

From the Office: Ensure you are safe when you take to the roads

The ability to drive is something that most of us count on, whether it be to get to work, shopping, medical or other appointments, visiting friends and family and any number of other activities. When the vehicle or the driver is out of commission, life can certainly be more difficult.

Most drivers can benefit from a periodic skill refresher. As we age, other factors may intervene that make driving more difficult. It is important to identify any limitations and see what can be done to mitigate the negative impact of these limitations The good news is that there are things that we can do to help us to minimize risk and increase safety.

One thing to consider is signing up for a driver’s safety course. These have varying costs and are offered through AARP, AAA and other entities, both in classroom settings and online. In addition to these courses there is a lot of other good information available. 

I came across the AAA Senior Driver website,, the other day. It contains a wealth of information and tips that can help to decrease risk and improve safety. The site contains several tools to help you identify areas that may need improvement. 

One tool is a “Self-Rating tool.” It contains 15 questions that when answered give an indication of your driving ability as well as suggestions for improvement. Included in the suggestions are to be sure to use side and rear view mirrors and to talk to your doctor about ways to increase flexibility so that you can look over your shoulder. If intersections are troubling, plan trips for the least busy time of the day. If making a left turn without a light, turn right and make two more rights instead. Another suggestion not included in the self-rating tool is, at a right-on-red stoplight, if you sense your reaction time is slower, wait for the green light.

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