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It seems we mostly pay attention to rules of the road and safe driving tips when we are about to get our driver’s license for the first time, or when we move and might need to take a driver’s test in a new state.
But in fact, we can all use a refresher on safe driving — especially when our downtown streets are teeming with sometimes inattentive tourists occasionally making targets of themselves by leaping in front of our moving vehicles.
Ketchikan AARP regularly offers a course to seniors on safe driving, previously called 55 Alive, which is coming up this weekend from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Ketchikan Senior Center, 1016 Water St. The senior advocacy group began the course, designed especially for drivers 50 and older, in 1979.
The AARP Driver Safety class recognizes that the driving challenges to older drivers are not the same as those to youngsters, who typically have violations involving speeding, reckless driving or driving impaired. For older drivers, the tickets more often involve failure to yield right-of-way, improper turning and incorrect lane changing, AARP says, adding, “Generally, older drivers have problems in driving situations that require quick responses, full vision and interaction with other drivers.”
The course can help with driving, and can qualify a driver for an auto insurance discount as well. Check with your insurer on that. Though geared for those 50 and older, the course (which is also offered online) is open to drivers of any age. AARP membership is not required. Call the Senior Center to register for Saturday’s class.
Whether one takes the course or not (there is no charge for the course itself, but participants pay $10 to $12 for the book, according to Ketchikan AARP’s Ed Zastrow), AARP has many useful tips for drivers online, www.aarp.org; click on the “Driver Safety Program” link.
It’s always a good idea to review safety tips — driving has changed a lot since most of us began piloting automobiles in our youth. Speed has increased, as have distractions, as has noise. The more aware we are of the challenges, the better equipped we are to meet them successfully. And that keeps everyone safer.