MIAMI (CBSMiami) – AARP is offering people over 55-years old the opportunity to go back to school, driving school that is. It’s called the Smart Driver Program.
What do you think when you see an older person behind the wheel of a car? Is it, “Watch out! Bad driver ahead?”
It turns out the stigma is somewhat true.
In 2008, drivers over 65-years old accounted for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities and 18 percent of all pedestrian fatalities, according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis.
With ever-evolving technology and more commuters on the road, it’s getting increasingly difficult to drive in South Florida.
Now, older drivers are getting in their cars and heading back to school.
The AARP Smart Driver course helps keep older drivers independent, safe and confident while on the road.
It’s a six-hour classroom session designed as a refresher course.
Ramiro Acosta is one of the instructors of the program. He took it about ten years ago.
“I fell in love with the program, fell in love with the program and discovered how useful this could be for my community,”said Acosta.
Acosta said there are three things you’ll learn in his course.
“Number one is how aging impacts driving,” said Acosta.
There is an impact. After the age of 65, you become more likely to crash as you get older.
“Number two, re-learning the traffic laws right now in effect,” said Acosta. “And third whenever we have to auto examine and say, ‘It’s about time I start limiting my driving.’”
If you think you or your parents, or your grandparents are in that group, then this course is a good route.
Acosta gave some advice for those driving in South Florida’s “Carmeggedon.”
“You just have to plan your way around. You don’t have to be there at peak hours. You just have to plan to be outside when there is not that much traffic,” said Acosta.
Apart from helping you better navigate the road, there’s also a monetary perk to the Smart Driver program. Drivers 55 and older get a reduction in their auto insurance after completing the course which is available in English and Spanish.
For more information, click here.