AAA ANNOUNCES NEW STATE-CERTIFIED ONLINE SENIOR DRIVING COURSE IN PENNSYLVANIA

WILKES-BARRE, PA (August 20, 2012) – Tuesday, August 21st is National Senior Citizens Day, which honors the achievements and contributions of older Americans, and encourages seniors to keep participating in their communities. To help seniors stay active and mobile, AAA is announcing that its popular AAA Senior Driver classroom course is now available in an online version. With the online option, Pennsylvania seniors now can enhance their safe driving knowledge and qualify for insurance discounts from the comfort of their own homes.

AAA’s online Senior Driver Course offers:
· PennDOT approved online course
· Learn and work at your own pace
· Insurance discounts may apply upon successful completion
· Keeps senior drivers up-to-date on the latest risk reducing driving techniques
· Incorporates the latest research and focuses on specific issues for mature drivers

The course is available both to AAA members and non-members, and member discounts are available. AAA members pay $15.95 for the basic Senior Driver online course; and non-members pay $19.95. A refresher course costs $13.95 for members and $17.95 for non-members.

National Senior Citizens Day was first designated by Congress in 1988 and officially proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan. The Presidential Proclamation said “We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older — places in which older people can participate to the fullest and can find the encouragement, acceptance, assistance, and services they need to continue to lead lives of independence and dignity.”

Private vehicles remain the overwhelming transportation mode of choice for older Americans, allowing them to lead active, independent lives. “Ten thousand Americans turn 65 every day, and mobility is a key issue. We encourage seniors to maintain safe driving skills,” said Jenny M. Robinson, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Seniors can get additional safe driving help from AAA.com/Senior Driving, which is a one-stop website with state-specific driver information, quizzes, videos and Q&As, slideshows and even unique brain fitness exercises shown to cut the risk of a traffic crash in half. The site is free and open to members and non-members alike.

Nearly 90 percent of senior drivers say it’s important to them to keep driving – and they will do what it takes to stay safe, according to a recent survey by the American Automobile Association. Helping to dispel the all-too-common myth that seniors are dangerous drivers, AAA’s survey indicates that motorists age 65 and older often “self-police” their driving or avoid driving situations that put them at greater risk of a crash. In fact, 80 percent of senior drivers voluntarily avoid one or more high-risk driving situations. More than half (61 percent) of these drivers avoid driving in bad weather; 50 percent avoid night driving; 42 percent avert trips in heavy traffic and 37 percent avoid unfamiliar roads.

As a leading road safety advocate for 110 years, AAA continues to provide expert advice and helpful resources for older adults and their families—working to support them as they tackle the challenge of balancing safety and mobility. To help manage the effects of aging on driving ability, AAA Mid-Atlantic also offers the following resources for older drivers:

· AAA Roadwise Review is a computer-based self-screening tool designed to assess a driver’s functional abilities important to safe driving.
· CarFit and AAA’s Smart Features for Mature Drivers help to enhance seniors’ comfort and safety while driving.
· AAA Mid-Atlantic offers classroom and online courses at www.aaa.com/drivertraining, to help address the changes caused by aging and how a driver may compensate. Class availability varies by state.

Pennsylvania ranks fourth-highest in the nation for traffic fatalities where a 65+ driver was involved. There were 265 fatalities in Pennsylvania crashes that involved senior drivers in 2010. Pennsylvania has about 1.6 million drivers who are 65 and older – about 18 percent of the state’s total number of licensed drivers.

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