POSITIVELY 50+

Positively 50+: Refreshing your driving skills, learning new ways to handle Utah’s often difficult traffic

May 27, 2022, 12:15 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:28 pm

MILLCREEK, Utah — The rules of the road change all the time, as does the technology automakers stuff in our cars. Even our senses and reflexes are not immune from change as we pass the half-century mark.

Driving for Diane Hinman has changed a lot since she first hit the road over six decades ago.

“There wasn’t as much traffic. The cars were much simpler,” she said.

Though Hinman has had a lifetime of driving experience, she has come to AARP’s Smart Driver Course to learn more. It is designed to refresh the skills of drivers aged 50 and older, and to bring them up to speed on the latest technologies and techniques.

“We don’t say take the course because you’re a bad driver,” said Eric Wollesen, AARP’s driver safety coordinator for Utah. “We say take the course because you can be a better driver.”

AARP State Driver Safety Coordinator Eric Wollesen explains some of the new safety technology used in modern cars.

Wollesen said while it is not easy for some drivers to hear, the fact is, our reflexes slow down as we age, and our eyes just do not work the same they did when we were relatively new drivers.

“When you go from 20 years old to 40, it takes 40 times more light to see like you did at 20,” he explained.

Offsetting those inescapable changes is just one of the course’s wide and varied topics. The list of others include bike lanes, cell phone rules, roundabouts, weather conditions, using the latest safety features, and how 10-and-2 has become obsolete. Hold the wheel at 9-and-3 instead.

“The newer cars have all power steering, and so you don’t need to be up at 10-and-2 use that leverage. You don’t need to turn the wheel as much,” Wollesen said. “Hands can be here (9-and-3) and hit all the buttons (on the steering wheel) and they can be out of the way if the airbag comes out.”

AARP Smart Driver instructor Richard Raddatz shows why it’s important for driver to grip the wheel at 9-and-3, as opposed to the old school 10-and-2 position.

But AARP’s Smart Driver course is not just about the technical aspects of driving. Drivers like Diane also pick up strategies on how to handle their medications, keeping physically active for flexibility and response, and how to handle those difficult traffic situations we see every day in Utah.

“It’s not a contest,” Wollesen said. “It’s good driving, safe driving, being aware, being able to process what’s happening.”

There is a financial incentive, too. Drivers who take the course and have a good driving record will see their insurance premiums drop. They are taught two or three times each week in Northern Utah, or you can take it online.

KSL 5 TV Live

Positively 50+

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Dan Spindle

AARP Utah offering classes to clear up Social Security questions

AARP Utah is offering in-person and online classes to help Utahns clear up their Social Security questions.

1 month ago

Robert Wetzel, who volunteers with "Meals on Wheels" delivering a meal to Lola Anderson at her home...

Dan Spindle

Positively 50+: ‘Meals on Wheels’ volunteer delivers more than just meals

One volunteer who is always on the go delivers more than just meals to those who need to stay home.

2 months ago

The Aging & Adult Services website that provides connections to Utah's seniors....

Dan Spindle

Salt Lake County Virtual Senior Centers provides a community for Utah’s seniors

Most of us would love to forget everything that happened during the pandemic, but one thing has stayed. And it’s good for Utah’s seniors.

3 months ago

AARP tax preparation...

Dan Spindle

AARP volunteers offer free tax help for seniors

Summer, winter, spring, or fall - No matter which season is your favorite, we can all agree that tax season is the worst.

4 months ago

We’re all looking for ways to stretch our finances through discounts and deals but for those who ...

Dan Spindle

Positively 50+: Tax Circuit Breaker and Renter Relief

We’re all looking for ways to stretch our finances through discounts and deals but for those who are a little older and on a fixed income, the need is that much greater. There is a lesser-known state program to help seniors out to the tune of hundreds of dollars.

5 months ago

A person putting money into a charity bucket....

Dan Spindle

Positively 50+: Protecting yourself against ‘charity scams’

As it's the most giving time of year, it's good to make sure that you are donating to the right places for the right causes.

6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Positively 50+: Refreshing your driving skills, learning new ways to handle Utah’s often difficult traffic