Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
07:40 pm
16 July 2018

Taking the smart route

Seniors can refresh road skills in driver safety program.

This month includes National Senior Citizens Day, Aug. 21, a day created to honor and appreciate seniors and their achievements.

It’s also a reminder that a large segment of the U.S. population is getting older. And as people age, they may need to brush up on their driving skills.

In The Villages’ 55-plus community, the AARP Driver Safety Program offers at least four Smart Driver courses each month. The six-hour class is designed for drivers age 50 and older, and is open to anyone, not just Villagers or AARP members.

Village of Chatham residents Dolores Bradley, 76, and her husband, Ronald, 82, attend the class every three years because it’s a great refresher and helps them qualify for insurance discounts.

The video-based course, conducted entirely in a classroom, covers topics including health and driving on medications, roundabouts, sharing the road, and planning for that day when you must give up your car keys. The printed materials also are excellent, and instructors answer everybody’s questions, says Dolores, who recommends Smart Driver to other seniors.

She says the course is especially important for older drivers in The Villages, where the roads include golf carts, bicyclists, and out-of-towners.

“Because we’re senior citizens and we’re retired, we don’t need to be someplace in a hurry,” Dolores says. “I like to do things back to back, but you never know what you’re going to run into as far as traffic. You need to slow down and pay attention to your surroundings.”

That’s smart advice for anyone, not just for seniors.

Be smart

To register for the Smart Driver course in The Villages, select a date and call the instructor listed below. The six-hour classes are either two days from 9am-noon each day, or one day from 9am-4pm. The cost is $15 for AARP members, and $20 for non-members.

Aug. 1,2: Colony Cottage Recreation Center, 510 Colony Blvd. Instructor Dick Weingand, 352.633.7565.

Aug. 8, 11: Laurel Manor Recreation Center, 1985 Laurel Manor Drive. Instructor John Shepard, 352.399.2344.

Aug. 9 (one-day course): HarborChase of Villages Crossing, 13517 NE 86th Court, Lady Lake. Instructor Chet Kowalski, 352.430.1833.

Aug. 19, 26: Paradise Recreation Center, 1403 Paradise Drive. Instructor John Shepard, 352.399.2344.

Aug. 21, 25: Savannah Center, 1545 Buena Vista Blvd. Instructor Charlie Webb, 352.693.2562.

Dates in other communities can be found at or by calling 877.846.3299.