AARP offers safe driving classes to local seniors

TOPEKA, Kan. –It’s no secret that older drivers get a lot of flack when they’re behind the wheel.

To help break that reputation, AARP is helping them shift gears so they feel confident when they grab the keys.

“In rural driving, it’s the deer,” said Tina Shadley, who moved to Topeka from South Carolina. “I wasn’t quite used to all of that but it’s merging onto traffic, noticing who’s where and what you need to do and that kind of changes a little bit as you get older.”

Helping Shadley feel more confident with those concerns is exactly what this course addresses.

It also teaches drivers about changes within themselves, the roads and their vehicles.

The instructor of the course, Kevin Kneisley says one main issue for older drivers is medication use.

“I asked how many people in the class of 20 did not take medicine, one person raised their hand,” said Kneisley. “The rest of them take some sort of medication and as you get older, people tend to take medication more. That affects possibly how we drive.”

His biggest piece of advice is to take to the time to learn about your car.

Cyndii Callaway loves the idea so much so that she’s taking the class so that she can become an instructor.

“Most of the people in the class have been driving longer than I have been alive,” said Callaway.

The class is keeping experienced drivers safe and helps them decide when it might be time to hang up the keys.

AARP is offering free classes for all ages in the month of October, including in Roeland Park, Stilwell, and Lansing. To sign up for the course, follow this link.