Resources To Help Older Drivers and Their Families
Here are some organizations and resources that can help older drivers, their families and friends get more information on safe driving or get answers about alternatives to driving.
Driver Refresher Courses
The following agencies conduct state approved classroom training courses for mature drivers. There are no written or practical driving tests required. The course fees are moderate, but vary with each agency.
- The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP):
225 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Offers “55-Alive,” an 8-hour instructional program to improve the driving ability of older adults.
- American Automobile Association:
Contact your local AAA office for availability.
- MossRehab Driving School:
201 Old York Road, Suite 203
Jenkintown, PA 19046
Helps people with disabilities (including older individuals) gain the skills to become safe, competent drivers. MossRehab Driving School has both the expertise and equipment to assist drivers with a wide range of physical disabilities. We are a state-licensed program and one of the most comprehensive on the East Coast, operating for over 32 years. The school maintains 7 of the most comprehensively equipped vehicles on the east coast, including a Van with the Scott Driving System.
- National Safety Council:
Call for more information.
- Seniors for Safe Driving:
Call for availability.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Materials
Available free by contacting PennDOT at (717) 787-6853.
- “Drive Smart and Drive Longer, Tips for the Older Driver”:
Available from PennDOT, this booklet discusses the leading cause of accidents involving older adults.
- “Truck Smart”:
A pamphlet concerning safety tips for sharing the road with trucks.
- “The Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual”:
There have been a number of changes in driver and traffic regulations in recent years; changes you should know about. Manuals are available at any driver license center or PennDOT district office. Check your telephone directory under “Automobile” or “Transportation” to locate the office nearest you.
Pennsylvania Department of Aging Materials
- “Getting Older…And Going Places!”:
gives a brief description of benefits for older drivers and riders, eligibility information and who to contact. Your local area agency on aging may be able to assist you in obtaining older driver improvement information or materials, or help you find alternative transportation. To contact the agency nearest you, consult the blue pages of your telephone directory. Philadelphia Corporation for the Aging, 215-765-9040
AARP Materials for Older Drivers
Contact the state AARP office at 30 North Third Street, Suite 750, Harrisburg, PA 17101; or call (717) 238-2277 for more information on driver assessment and improvement materials.
- “Older Driver Skill Assessment and Resource Guide–Creating Mobility Choices”:
This booklet helps the driver measure reaction time, learn about unsafe driving habits, and tips on ensuring car safety. It has a vision test to pick up potential driving problems, and a quiz to determine if driving is becoming a problem. Contact the state AARP office at 30 North Third Street, Suite 750, Harrisburg, PA 17101; or call (717) 238-2277 for more information on this and other driver assessment and improvement materials.
- “Take Control of Your Driving Future–Staying Safe As You Grow Older”:
This booklet discusses a research study by AARP and ITT Hartford. It contains a quiz to assess accident risk, a visual contrast sensitivity test and tips to improve driving.
- “Safety Steps for Pedestrians–A Program to Promote Safe Walking for Older Persons”:
Drivers are not the only ones who need to know “the rules of the road.” This publication offers tips for walking smart and safe.
- “See Safe Driving in a New Light”:
A self-test of your ability to see in low light situations.
- “Getting Around–Driving and Other Options”:
A valuable resource for anyone considering giving up driving.
American Automobile Association (AAA) Materials
- “Drivers 55 Plus: Test Your Own Performance”:
This 16-page self assessment booklet by the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety can help you assess your ability to drive. The cost is $2.00. Write to the foundation at: 1440 New York Avenue, Suite 201, Washington, DC 20005.
- “Concerned About An Older Driver? A Guide for Families and Friends”:
The cost is $2.00. Write to the foundation at: 1440 New York Avenue, Suite 201, Washington, DC 20005.
- “Rx for Safe Driving”:
This pamphlet discusses the effects of medication on driving. It is available from AAA Corporate Communications, 1000 AAA Drive, Heathrow, FL 32746-5063.
Other Sources of Information
- “The Aging Process and Driving Safety”:
Available from GM Corporate Relations, 11-57 General Motors Building, Detroit, MI 48202. This pamphlet discusses considerations for the older driver.
- “Driving Tips for Older Adults”:
Available from the American Optometric Association, 243 N. Lindbergh Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63141. This pamphlet discusses vision changes, the effect of drugs on driving, the decision to drive, and advice for the older driver.
- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing:
P.O. Box 68682
Harrisburg, PA 17106-8682
Successful completion of a mature driver improvement course may qualify you for a 5% discount on your car insurance. Consult your insurance agent for details.
If the driver will not listen to reason, you may want to discuss the problem with his/her doctor to find out if there are medical reasons that should be reported. The doctor may also decide to refer the older person to a driving clinic to help make a more accurate judgment.
If you decide your only choice is to report the case to PennDOT to make a determination, call (717) 787-9664, or write:
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 68682
Harrisburg, PA 17106-8682
The older driver may be required to take a medical or drivers exam or both.