AARP Smart Driver Course at The Meeting Place

Published 5:14 pm Thursday, August 17, 2017

Drivers age 50 and order are invited to sharpen their driving skills by attending the AARP Smart Driver course. The Meeting Place Senior Center is hosting a class on Tuesday, September 5, offering experienced drivers a chance to remain safer on today’s busy roads.

“So much has changed since many of us learned to drive,” says Carol Kashmer, who will instruct the course. “Cars are faster, roads are busier, some drivers are distracted – unfortunately – and opportunities for fender-benders and worse are all too frequent. Here’s a chance to improve driving skills (no tests, no behind-the-wheel) in a relaxed atmosphere.”

The four-hour class offers numerous tips for coping with inevitable changes in perception and reaction time, as well as increased hazards on the roads. Participants will review the rules of the road, tips on dealing with aggressive drivers, and general safety tips such as how to make left turns into heavy traffic and how often to clean your head and tail lights to maintain maximum visibility.

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“Many of us learned to drive a number of years ago,” Kashmer says. “We have the driving habits we’ve acquired over the years. We may think we’re just as good behind the wheel as we were 30, 40, or more years ago, but that’s unlikely. And we are sharing the roads with new generations of drivers, some who – unfortunately – are texting or talking on a cell phone and not paying full attention. We’ll talk about how to cope with these challenges.”

“I wish every older driver in the area would take one of these AARP courses. It would make our jobs so much easier; the last thing I want to do is go to a wreck and see an older person who is hurt – or whose car is now banged up,” said retired North Carolina State Trooper Gene Williamson.

The course will be conducted Tuesday, Sept. 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Meeting Place, 75 Carmel Lane in Columbus. There is a fee for the course. Call 828-894-0001 for information and registration.

– article submitted by Pam Doty