For more than 30 years, AARP Driver Safety has helped drivers improve their driving skills and stay safe on the road. For the last 18 years, AARP Driver Safety volunteer Pat Maness has volunteered to provide those driver safety classes in southern Oregon.
“Older drivers are concerned when they come in our classroom, so we try and put them at ease,” Maness said. “Education can help you drive longer and safer.”
Some attendees take the course to receive an insurance discount upon completion. Others sign up to refresh their driving skills.
“I ask people in my classroom, ‘When’s the last time you got an automobile manual out and read it?’” Maness said. “I get the answer ‘Oh, about 50 years ago.’”
Maness realized how sloppy his driving had become after taking the driver safety class himself.
“My mind was not on my driving.”
In his classes, Maness highlights how much the rules of the road have changed since his students first earned their drivers licenses.
“People are driving faster, there are more driver distractions and more traffic,” Maness said. “We work to give our students more driving knowledge. We have more retired people moving into Grants Pass and they come from all over the country. The laws are different. The roads are different. Driving is different in Oregon.”
Nationwide, about 7,000 AARP-trained volunteers instruct, administer and promote the Driver Safety course.
“We couldn’t do it without our volunteers,” said Shelley Buckingham, AARP Oregon Communications & Media Relations Director. “Pat is one of our finest instructors. We need more volunteers like him in southern Oregon.”
AARP driver safety courses are scheduled at the Three Rivers Community Hospital (classroom A), 1505 NW Washington Blvd. in Grants Pass. You can register with RSVP at 541-956-4472 or call toll-free to 888-AARP-NOW (888-227-7669) or visit aarp.org/drive.
- July 9 & 11, 1-4 p.m.
- August 13 & 15, 1-4 p.m.
- Sept. 10 & 12, 1-4 p.m.
- Sept. 14, all-day Saturday
AARP membership is not required to take the course and there are no tests to pass. The six-hour course costs $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members. Although the course is geared toward drivers who are 50 and older, the course is open to all ages.
AARP helps you:
- Update your driving knowledge;
- Learn defensive-driving skills;
- Compensate for normal age-related physical changes;
- Reduce your traffic violations, crashes and chances for injuries; and
- Drive more safely.