AARP Helping Seniors Improve Defensive Driving

senior citizens brushed up on their driving skills to get ready for winter season

FARGO, ND — With the dangerous conditions from icy roads, a group of senior citizens is brushing up on what it means to drive safely.

If anyone knows about driving safely, it’s Robert Fugre.

Not only was his career teaching people in the military how to drive heavy machinery, but he also has been brushing up on his own skills by taking driving safety classes for the past 20 years.

“Basically it’s all the same. But it’s, be aware of what’s going on out there,” Fugre said.

That especially includes days in the winter when the roads are covered in ice. Fugre says he doesn’t always like what he’s seeing on days like today.

“People going through stop lights, caution lights like nobody’s business,” Fugre said.

Some say the ice should be a sign to do the opposite.

“With ice on the road, you have to slow down quite a bit. Stay a safe distance away from cars,” said Dick Akers, AARP volunteer driving instructor.

As you get older, your reaction times slow down.

That’s why F–M seniors decided to stay on top of the ice and out of more crashes by discussing the different ways they can protect themselves at an AARP Driving Safety Course.

The answer to most of the problems was the same.

“It’s something that you have to do is slow down. And if we want to keep our independence and drive longer, we have to,” Akers said.

For college students, the answer is also similar.

“Of course a lot of teenagers today know how to drive but they still tailgate for sports in the wintertime but you can’t stop very good on ice and snow,” Fugre said. “People have to pay more attention to safety.”

Akers says people should always be thinking carefully when getting behind the wheel no matter their age.

“Keep the big picture in mind so you can have time to react,” Akers said.

That bigger picture being your life.

AARP reminds people to have both hands on the wheel while driving on the ice, especially when changing lanes.

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