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Senior Driver Clinic

Roseland, NJ

June 18, 2019

Senior driving clinic held on Tuesday 18th of June at the Roseland library.

               

               Planned Topics:  

 

  • State required re-evaluation.    

  • When driving------Become AWARE     

  • Driving performance with aging     

  • Professional Driver Assessment/evaluations

  • Intersections & Right-of-Ways.   

  • Time-space Management.        

                                    

                     Bonuses:

  • Drugs & driving in the eyes of the law.

  • Shared roadways (Pedestrian & cyclist).

  • Parking.

  • Taking care of your Brain.

  • Choosing the right driver evaluation.

*  For those just looking for the answer to the question on LinkedIn or Instagram, click "answers here" button.

      It's hard as a Senior driver to consider giving up that driver’s license. When they were teenagers, they couldn't wait to get it (next to a car).

     To most of them now after all these years, to give it up, it's surrendering their Independence and becoming Dependent! This is some of what was discussed during the Senior Drivers clinic I held at the Roseland, NJ library.

 

     Unfortunately, due to the severe rainy weather (most seniors won’t drive in), it hindered the attendance of what was expected, but for those who did attend they got bonus time and information. 

     Had a few attendees that weren’t quite classified in the senior driver category, but where more there to get information that may help them deal with their aging senior driver. 1 couple (under 60) was concerned about the wife’s 86-year-old mother living down the shore and still looking to drive around like she did when she was in her 50’s. As the wife stated. "Momma still likes cruising then stay home"!

     Her mother is being resistant to limiting when she drives and how far. This can be a tricky and sensitive discussion with the individual who is experiencing driving issues due to age.

      Another attendee (a gentleman), had a stroke 6 months earlier and completed 6 weeks of rehabilitation and underwent 6 sessions of evaluation (various test at various degrees) at $230hr. After failing the driving simulator, the first time was told he wouldn’t be able to drive. The facility which is well known and locations throughout the U.S. refused to work with him further upon his request. I spoke with him after the clinic ended and received more information, in which I did a brief evaluation to see his mobility, flexibility, and strength for driving.

      Like previous clients of this rehabilitation facility I winding up training after they were told they couldn’t drive, they never took him out in a vehicle to determine since simulators have limits. I hope after my talk with him, he will seek another evaluation whether by me or another that will take him in a properly equipped vehicle to do the assessment.

      Overall, the blend of attendees made for some impromptu topics of discussion above what I planned on would be talked about in the questions and answers segment.

      And boy do the senior drivers have tons of questions, most not shocking to me since I retrain them with their driving methods, teach them how to use assistive technology or prep them for the state reexamination segment. Unfortunately, most are outdated when it comes to law knowledge, the rules of the road and car technology.

      In addition, at some point kept stuck in their ways, owned cars from an error where they lasted much longer and lastly, they never really advanced with the changing drivers’ landscape or with technological advancements in automobiles. We also, have to look at the level of poor driving with the current drivers and roads now being pushed to their design limits or overcrowded.

    Constant evolving development in-car technology, specifically anti-collision technology will greatly help the senior drivers be safer on the roads. These devices can be purchased for older vehicles too.  If you’re contemplating adding any such features to an older vehicle, ask your auto insurance agent how much of a premium reduction you can expect. This way you can see if it's worth the investment expense for such devices. Below are some of the best features for a senior driver to consider having. 

Some of the biggest concerns and fears where:

  • At what age would I have to give up my license?

  • There’s not much life after I stop driving.

  • Is it worth the extra cost to buy a car with more driver technology?

  • I have medication I can’t stop taking even though it does affect my driving at times?

  • How can I avoid getting blamed for an accident because of another driver’s carelessness when there are no witnesses?

  • How can I avoid getting tickets when I drive alone?

     You kind of see which way their mindset is focusing on knowing they are not getting any better as an aging driver or taking additional prescription medication. At some point, we all will be dealing with visual and physical limitations that have a direct impact on our ability to drive safe and proper.

     If you are or have a maturing adult and encountering or concerned about their driving ability, don’t wait till it gets worse or something to happen. The time to talk about it is "NOW"!

     Early intervention and prevention can extend their driving time frame and reduce the financial burden and stress if an accident happens especially legal ramifications.

     Helping them learn how to improve their areas of deficiencies by practicing with them or arranging for professional help could keep them out of trouble or going through retesting by a state-mandated.

     Recommend they get updated knowledge by reading the newest version of that state’s drivers handbook.

     Also, have them attend a defensive driver class or at a minimum go through one over the internet. The defensive driver class will benefit them by an insurance discount in addition to improving their driving knowledge.

     Consider having a professional driver evaluation conduct to determine the individuals current driving skill level or help identify areas that need improvement.

     

     Taking care of and challenging the brain is a very good method to prolonging a driver’s ability to judge, rationalize and react earlier when other parts of driving skill maybe or are affected by aging.

      Doing things that hit both the left and right sides of the brain, like word puzzles’ plus maze and visuals, has been proven to help and build brainpower.

 

During a segment I asked what is the definition/meaning of the following:

1.  Stop sign.

2.  Stop line.

 

3.  Greenlight.

Not surprisingly to me, no one got all of them right and only 3 individuals got 2 right (1 of them being the husband of the non-senior aged couple). The rest were flabbergasted!

Here is the simple laymen’s terms definition:

 Stop sign

 Information only. Tells you what to do when you arrive. Not where to do it.

Stop line

location of where you are to initially stop when you arrive and that you must stop by its designation.

Greenlight

Does not mean” GO”. Instead, proceed if it is clear and free to do so after looking to all sides and in the intersection before moving.  Other motorists run red lights and pedestrians cross against the pedestrian light.

About My Driving Check-Up

What is it?

A Driving Check-Up is a professional assessment of your driving skill. It’s an opportunity for you to have the way you drive checked in preparation of a state retesting or an individual who is concerned about recent changes in their driving habit.

Who is a check-up for?

These assessment sessions are ideal for those who:

  • Are concerned that their car control, observation, awareness and other driving standards are not as good as they should be.

  • Worry that they have picked up bad habits in the time since they passed their test.

  • Tendency to bump into objects when parking or performing maneuvers.

  • Feel that they could benefit from an older driver assessment.

  • Are getting back behind the wheel following a debilitating illness or has mobility issues.

  • Want to make sure that they could still pass the road test if required to take 1.

  • Wish to accompany a learner driver and want to be certain that they don't pass on out-of-date or incorrect information to the new driver.

Some things to be aware of when choosing the right Driving Instructor/program for your driver evaluation?

 

  • Total years in business doesn't prove top quality. The school could have been purchased and years in business or reputation inherited by the current/new owner.

  • Be cautious of listing showing a combined total of experience from all instructors. Example statement: "We have a combined total of 40 years experience" or "with a total combined experience of 40 years". Years of all instructors combined doesn't show the quality of instructors or programs offered.

 

  • Ask specific questions about your situation needs or ailment to determine if the school/instructor has understanding and knowledge for your needs.

 

  • Do you stay with the same instructor and car for all your scheduled lessons or they switch out? 

  • Make sure if they show up late or leave early, the time is made up. You paid for it so you deserve it.

  • Say something if they are talking on the phone while you are driving or have you stop so they can talk. They shouldn’t talk for longer than 3 minutes in either case or take multiple calls. Their attention should be focused on observing you and pointing out little issues that can cause a possible problem.

  • Do not sign-off on a lesson that doesn’t have the time or correct start time/end time filled out.

  • Make sure you perform the maneuver or skill at least 3 times not just 1x after being shown or instructed.

  • Make sure you have time to review the last lesson before moving on to newer topics/skills in the current lesson.

  • Make sure if you are struggling or not understanding well enough to perform, you are giving more information or shown an alternative method to do so. Don’t waste to much time forcing getting it by doing over and over if not improving.

  • Make sure they don’t give you to many points of reference on the car since your vehicle may be to different and you probably won’t perform the same. You should learn a method with knowledge and understanding.

Parking Master class.

 

     If the mere thought of parallel parking on a congested/ highly active street or parking in a busy mall or multi-level parking lot brings you out in a cold sweat, then my Parking Master class is for you. Over the course of 1-1/2 or 2 hours, I will take you through the techniques that can be used to make parking less of a chore and give you plenty of chance to practice. This course can give you the confidence you need to park safely and quickly without needing to spend ages looking for a parking space long enough for you to be able to drive into.

Call to Discuss Your Driving Need.