CHP Hosts Free Driving Programs for Seniors
Its mission is to provide the highest level of service, safety, and security, so the California Highway Patrol (CHP) continues to host a free program for older California drivers on road safety. The Age Well, Drive Safe program is open to all senior citizens ages 65 years and older. The classes allow elderly drivers to refresh their knowledge of the rules of the road, improve their driving skills, and learn how age-related changes can affect their driving abilities.
Information on the Age Well, Drive Safe Program
The CHP has hosted this state-wide senior driving program since 2011. The class is about two hours long and is offered at many senior centers within the community and local CHP offices.
The next class will be held in Redding this Thursday, January 26th, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Simpson College. This will be the first in-person presentation at the college since the pandemic.
The program will dive into multiple topics, including:
- tips and suggestions about driving in your golden years
- when it may be time to curb or stop driving
- offering seniors alternatives to driving
The class will also cover other topics, including:
- how to set your mirrors
- how to adjust your seat properly
- how to drive in adverse weather
While the program is free, space is limited, so you must RSVP first. You can call the Redding CHP Office at 530-225-0500 to reserve your spot. Visit the agency’s website for other locations or a nearby CHP office.
The Importance of Road Safety
Road safety is a high priority. For everyone’s safety on the road, the CHP wants all road travelers to be well-equipped with the tools and knowledge to drive their vehicles as safely as possible. In addition to providing the free class to seniors, the agency also promotes safe travel for all drivers with the grant Keeping Everyone Safe (KEYS), funded by the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). With the grant fund, the Age Well, Drive Smart program will continue to stress that someone’s performance determines their fitness to drive, not their age.
Watch the YouTube video to learn more about the CHP driver safety class for seniors, Age Well, Drive Smart.
Age-Related Changes Are Major Risk Factors
While driving helps older people stay independent and mobile, the risk of being injured or killed in a car accident increases as they age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 200,000 senior citizens suffered injuries, and nearly 7,500 died in traffic crashes in 2020.
Statistics indicated that drivers aged 65 and older rank just behind teenage drivers in accident rates. Older drivers are more likely to be involved in multiple-car accidents, especially at intersections.
Some common age-related factors can result in a decreased driving ability, including the following conditions:
- Diminished eyesight
- Impaired or hearing loss
- Arthritis, which could affect steering wheel grip or pedal usage
- Dementia or diminished cognition
- Slower reflexes
- Side effects from medications
Safety Tips for Older Drivers
Fortunately, there are some critical steps older adults can take to stay safer on the roads.
- Always wear a seat belt: Wearing a seat belt is one of the best ways to reduce injuries and save lives in crashes.
- Drive when conditions are safest: Drive during the day and in good weather. Driving at night and in poor weather conditions could increase the chance of an accident.
- Choose safer routes: Avoid driving on busy roads or highways, which can be more dangerous for senior drivers. It is better to take a longer way to avoid hazardous intersections.
- Limit distractions: Listening to audiobooks or music can distract some older drivers, and even chatting can cause confusion for them. Turn off the noise and avoid conversing while the car is in motion.
- Know your medications: Some can cause drowsiness and make you less alert. Some prescriptions have warning labels against driving while taking the drug. Review your medications with your pharmacist to see if taking them could lead to unsafe driving.
Redding Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury attorney in Redding. Knowing how to operate a vehicle safely is essential to keeping you and everyone safe. When you are hurt in a car accident due to no fault of your own, knowing who to call for help is necessary. If you have suffered severe injuries in a recent traffic collision caused by a careless driver, contact our accident lawyers at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
Our law firm has practiced personal injury law exclusively in Northern California since 1982. See our successful cases of verdicts and settlements.
Photo by Eduardo Barrios on Unsplash
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