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HANFORD — The Hanford area CHP is conducting "Age Well, Drive Smart" classes at their local office, with the next available class being Friday morning. There will also be a class in September at the Lemoore Senior Citizens Center.

The reason for the class? Current generations are living longer than their parents and have better access to vehicles, causing California to face continued growth in the number of adults aged 65 or older driving on our roads today.

In 2011, the California Highway Patrol implemented the “Age Well, Drive Smart” program statewide. This program was designed to provide older drivers with the knowledge to drive safer and drive longer.

The impact of aging on driving varies widely, but senior citizens need to know that gradual and incremental effects on vision, flexibility and response times compromise their safety and the safety of others, and eventually require them to stop driving.

Discussion topics in the Age Well, Drive Smart program include:

  • How to tune-up driving skills.
  • Refresh knowledge of the rules of the road.
  • Learn about age-related physical changes and how to adjust to them.
  • When it may be time to limit or stop driving.
  • Understand the alternatives to driving.

Officer John Tyler of the Hanford area CHP said aging doesn’t happen immediately, and because aging is a gradual process, seniors may not notice they are driving differently until something like an accident happens. As people grow older, he said they are less likely to survive car accidents.

Tyler said the class is not about taking away drivers licenses or the independence of senior citizens, but giving them the knowledge to self-regulate and know their limitations

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Tyler asked that the community continue to check the Hanford area CHP Facebook page for information on upcoming events and classes.

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