This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Even good drivers need a refresher course

Older drivers are the safest drivers, hands down.

But many have been driving so long they've forgotten some of the rules, or haven't changed their driving habits to account for reflexes dulled by age.

Safety experts and state regulators feel so strongly about the benefits of classroom refresher courses -- even for those who've never had an accident or racked up a single ticket -- that a majority of states require insurance companies to offer discounts. Even in states where a discount isn't the law, most companies offer a break for defensive driving courses anyway.

The AARP Smart Driver Course, launched in 1979 as "55 Alive," is the largest and most well-known defensive driving course for those of a certain card-carrying age. Last year, more than 560,000 people took it, either online or in a class held at a senior center, car dealership, library or other community space.

Most get car insurance discounts in exchange, helpful because car insurance rates start to rise once driver reach 70 or so.

The class is four to eight hours long, depending on the state, and includes no tests, either on the road or at a desk. What it does include is a good deal of discussion about aging's effect on seeing, hearing and reacting, and tools to compensate. It reviews road rules most of us haven't visited since high school.

And it appears to work. An independent study by the Eastern Virginia Medical School showed course participants made fewer hazardous errors than non-participants and were better able to regulate their driving behavior, scheduling around night-time driving, for example, or altering routes to avoid high-speed traffic or tricky intersections.

"A lot of people do hang up their keys early because they've lost their confidence behind the wheel. Our course allows them to get that confidence back up," says Julie Lee, vice president and national director of AARP Driver Safety. "This is about keeping people on the road. We want people to be mobile as long as possible, and we want them to be safe."

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%
TSLA $240.76 0.00%
YHOO $36.60 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs