By Jessica Tuggle
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- Red means stop and green means go, but some other laws of the land regarding driving on the road may have changed since you were a 16-year-old kid with a license hot off the presses, AARP representatives say.
The American Association of Retired Persons is offering low-cost refresher drivers classes for members and members of the general public in Indian River County in April.
The six-hour classroom-based instruction reviews safe driving procedures, road signs and markings, Florida laws and ways to cope with the effects of aging on driving, said Betty Wellington, course facilitator, in an email.
"It boosts driving awareness and how to improve driving skills, minimize crash risks and increases confidence," she said.
The AARP safe driving materials also include vision and seating tips for older drivers.
For example, purchasing a car with deeply tinted windows could limit visibility for night driving, and having the appropriate eyewear for daytime versus nighttime driving would also be helpful.
When it comes to being seated in the driver seat, making sure the seatbelt, steering wheel and head restraint are all in the correct position is important as well. The seatbelt should lie flat on the collarbone, the steering wheel should allow for clear visibility of the dashboard and the road, and the head restraint should be touching the center of the back of the head.
The driving safety class cost for AARP members is $12 and $14 for non-members.
The class includes a workbook and supplement and a DVD component for certain sections of the class, Ms. Wellington said.
"As an added bonus, not only will drivers who take the class learn how to be safer on the roads, there is also a potential insurance savings to be had," she said. "Usually insurance companies will give a 5 percent to 10 percent discount to individuals who complete the safety course, though the amount may vary from person to person."
Classes are held in various locations in the county. A class will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on April 8 and April at the Boys and Girls Club in Vero Beach. To register, call (772) 713-7129.
Another class is scheduled for April 10 and April 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the North Indian River County Library in Sebastian. To register, call (772) 562-6031.
The final class in April will be 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on April 19 and April 22 at the Brackett Library at Indian River State College's Vero Beach campus. To register, call (772) 562-3184.