senior driving a car
TEXT SIZE:
normal size
large sizeextra large size

Driver Safety


  • Local Driver Safety Training
  • Other Driver Safety Resources

Local Driver Safety Training


AARP

The AARP Driver Safety Program offers local classes for drivers aged 50 plus. The courses cover many topics related to being an older driver, such as traffic rules, staying flexible, medications, etc. The course is designed to help you remain a safe driver. It covers normal age-related physical changes and how to adjust your driving to allow for these changes. Additionally, all insurance companies offer a discount to AARP Driver Safety graduates.

Courses are offered throughout the year. Each class is eight hours long, most commonly in two four-hour segments over two days. In San Mateo County, courses meet at nearly 20 locations throughout the county. AARP now offers a four-hour renewal course for previous graduates.

For information on AARP Driver Safety courses in your area, and for other
helpful information, go to AARPorg/drive or call 877-846-3299.

California Highway Patrol (CHP)

The California Highway Patrol offers an Older Driver Traffic Safety seminar in conjunction with the San Mateo County Commission on Aging and San Mateo County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier. The free class is three hours long and is designed to help keep older drivers on the road longer and refresh their driving skills.

To register for the seminar or for more information, please call the office of Supervisor Adrienne Tissier at 650-363-4572.

Other Driver Safety Resources

Self Assessments

If you are becoming concerned about your ability to drive a vehicle, information developed by various aging and traffic safety groups may help you determine whether you need to have a more formal evaluation of your driving abilities.

Roadwise Review—AAA (online tool)

The AAA Roadwise Review is an interactive online tool that helps you identify potential aging-related driving issues, identify steps to reduce risk, and monitor your driving health in private. Go to seniordriving.aaa.com for this and other helpful online resources, including an online older driver safety course.

Driving Decisions Workbook

The University of Michigan developed a web-based workbook to help older drivers evaluate their ability to drive safely. The workbook is available online at www.um-saferdriving.org.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Brochures

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed a series of online publications that address older adults’ ability to drive safely. These include “Safe Driving for Older Adults,” “Driving Safely While Aging Gracefully” and materials dealing specifically with driving after a stroke or with various conditions, such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, or seizures. These resources can be viewed online at www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Older+Drivers. Copies of most can be ordered by calling the NHTSA at 888-327-4236 or online at mcs.nhtsa.gov (click on “Motorcycle and Older Driver”).

Adjusting Your Vehicle

Proper adjustment of seats, mirrors, headrests and the steering wheel can help keep you driving safety. A variety of simple devices can be added to help compensate for physical changes or simply to make the vehicle fit you more comfortably and safely. The American Society on Aging, the American Automobile Association and AARP have developed a program called CarFit, Helping Mature Drivers Find Their Perfect Fit. For more information go to www.car-fit.org or to www.aarp.org and search for "Driver Safety."

Talking to Family and Friends

The Hartford insurance company has developed a series of publications about initiating conversations with older drivers, exercise for drivers, vehicle technology and older drivers, dementia and driving, and other topics. These publications can be viewed online, downloaded, or ordered at www.thehartford.com/resources/mature-market-excellence.

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Licensing

The Department of Motor Vehicles does not take away your driver’s license when you reach a certain age. Your mental and/or physical condition and your ability to follow traffic laws and rules regardless of age determine whether your license is renewed, restricted, suspended or revoked. All customers age 70 or older must renew their driver’s license in person at a DMV office. Restrictions may be imposed relating to declining physical condition.

The number one restriction for senior drivers is vision-related and usually requires the driver to wear glasses or corrective contact lenses. Some other common restrictions are no freeway driving, no nighttime driving, no rush hour driving, or driving only with proper support to ensure a proper driving position.

For more information:
1-800-777-0133
TTY 1-800-368-4327

Or www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/about/senior/senior_top.htm

Disabled Parking Placards

You can get a Disabled Person placard or license plates if you have impaired mobility and a licensed physician, surgeon, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or certified nurse-midwife certifies your condition.

The placard and plates entitle you to park your vehicle in parking spaces designated for persons with disabilities, including spaces at a blue or green curb, at metered on-street parking spaces at no charge, and in areas that require residential or merchant permits. You do not have to own or drive the vehicle to use the placard.

For more information:
1-800-777-0133
TTY 1-800-368-4327

Or www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/about/senior/senior_top.htm (click on “Disabled Person Placard or Plates” under “Getting Around”).

back to top