LIHUE — The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is starting AARP Smart Driver Courses on Jan. 22 for Kauai seniors.
It’s a course that can help seniors become safer drivers and may result in vehicle insurance savings.
Kauai AARP’s Jim Jung says it’s a good opportunity to refresh knowledge of rules of the road and to learn the effects of aging on driving skills.
“Kauai seniors, how long ago did you study the Hawaii drivers manual? Forty, 50, 60 years ago? I’ll bet it was when you first applied for your driver’s license,” Jung said. “It’s all about change. You changed. Your vehicle changed. Road markings and signals changed. Some traffic laws have changed. Learn about these changes and new strategies for dealing with them.”
Jung points out aging diminishes vision, hearing and flexibility, as well as the ability to judge distances and speed.
“That’s why most traffic accidents involving seniors are in making left turns and right of way violations. In recent years, there were several fatal accidents involving Kauai seniors caused by such traffic violations,” he said.
The course includes topics like safe following distances, blind spot minimization techniques, proper alignment to avoid major injury from air bags, right of way laws and alternatives to driving. It’s a four-hour course taught by a certified and trained volunteer instructor.
“You’ll receive an informative, easy to understand handbook and watch videos in which experts clearly explain problems and offer solutions,” Jung said.
The AARP Safe Driving course costs $20 for non-members and $15 for remembers and is held every Tuesday at the Kapaa Neighborhood Center from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.