Drivers age 50 and older are encouraged to sharpen their driving skills by attending the AARP Driver Safety Course scheduled at the Jane Woodruff Building of the Highlands- Cashiers Hospital on Oct. 8, from 1 to 5 p.m. and at the Macon County Senior Center, 108 Wayah Street, Franklin on Oct. 17, from 1 to 5 p.m.
"This course is for anyone who wants to stay safe on the roads as long as possible and hopefully, avoid being in a crash," says Carol Kashmer who will instruct the course.
The four-hour course is offered periodically, giving numerous tips for coping with the usual changes that happen in depth perception and reaction time, as well as increased hazards on the road with faster cars and busier highways.
"Many of us learned to drive a number of years ago," Kashmer says. We may think that are skills are just as good behind the wheel as they were 30, 40, or more years ago, but that is unlikely. And we are sharing the road with a new generation of drivers, some of who, unfortunately, may be eating, texting, or talking on a cell phone and may not be giving full attention to the road ahead.
"I wish every older driver in the mountains would take one of these AARP driver courses. It would make our jobs so much easier. The last thing I want to do is go to a wreck and see an older person who is hurt or whose car is now banged up," notes Gene Williams, North Carolina Highway Patrolman.
To register for the Highlands-Cashiers Hosptital course, call Sandra at (828)743-7910. To register for the course offered at the Macon County Senior Center, call (828)349-2058. The cost of the course is $12 for AARP members and $14 for nonmembers. It does not involve any behind the wheel time, classroom only, and no tests will be given.