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AARP Driver’s Safety Program coming up in Auburn

Designed to help seniors remain safe drivers
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Glen Cleveland said even though seniors may undergo physical changes, with the right training they can remain safe drivers. Cleveland is an instructor and trainer for AARP’s Driver’s Safety Class. The class will be held on Jan. 17-18 and is designed to help people 50 and older remain safe drivers as long as possible. Cleveland said everyone is invited to attend the course, which teaches participants defensive driving techniques, rules of the road and how to compensate for age-related physical changes. “The reason behind it is real easy the AARP used to be the main provider for the defensive driver program and they finally got to thinking about their clientele,” Cleveland said. “The defensive driving course didn’t say anything about what happens to our body as we get older. They developed a program that was aimed at helping older people remain safe drivers as long as possible.” Past student reflects Through the class, which is eight-hours, students can gain important driving skills and most participants can extend the safe driver’s discount on their auto insurance for three years. Barbara Crowell, director of the Multipurpose Senior Center in Auburn, said she has taken the class several times. Each time, she said she learns something new. “It’s a great class. It’s such a refresher. You just get up to date on the latest laws. In the class they discuss everything — what experiences you have had on the road,” Crowell said. “I think everybody should attend it, not just the seniors.” Crowell said little things can make all the difference in preventing a crash. “They do simple things like if you can make a right turn instead of a left turn you are going to be much safer on the road,” Crowell said. “We all have to be very careful about bike riders because you can never be sure what they are going to do. I live in Christian Valley. It’s very narrow over there, but they deserve to be able to ride.” With an increase in drivers over age 90, she said courses like this are more important now than ever. “Seniors seem to have problems with driving at times and it’s getting more not so unique anymore to have them driving up until their 90s,” Crowell said. “It reminds you of what you are doing out there on the road. I started these right after I turned 50, I think, and I am 79 now.” Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com.