Transportation is an important part of our daily lives. Driving our own car provides us with a sense of control and freedom. We all want to drive for as long as possible while protecting our safety and the safety of others. However, as we get older certain physical and perceptual changes may increase our risk of injury from an accident. These changes include poor vision, hearing loss, problems with reflexes, range of motion, response time, decreased ability to multi task, memory problems, health problems and conflicting medications.

Recent studies indicate that while older drivers have fewer accidents per driver than younger adults. But they are more likely to be cited for other violations such as yielding the right-of-way, improper turns and incorrect lane changes.

To improve your safety on the road we encourage you to participate in the following programs:

  1. AARP Smart Driver Course – Become a safer driver with this course that teaches valuable defensive driving techniques, safe driving strategies, new traffic laws, rules of the road and more. A Smart Driver Course is offered at the Township office, 4340 Prince Street, Downers Grove, on Saturday February 20th, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. This is an eight-hour course with lunch provided. Completion of this course may qualify you for an automobile insurance discount (check with your auto insurance agent for details). Cost: $15 for AARP members, $20 for non-members. To register for this course call 630-719-6685. For information about classes at other locations call 630-258-2342.
  1. Car Care Safety Clinic – This free auto safety inspection is held annually in September. Car care professionals provide vehicles with a multiple point inspection that includes checking fluids, belts, hoses, tire condition, lights and more. This clinic also includes the CarFit program that checks whether senior drivers “fit” their cars properly, including foot positioning on the gas and brake pedals, air bag position, head rest position, mirror adjustments, and more. For information call 630-719-6682.

If you decide to minimize your driving there are other means of transportation, such as:

  1. Dial-A-Ride – A curb-to-curb transportation program within Township boundaries. It is provided Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for residents who are over age 65 or disabled. A fare of $5.00 for each one-way trip is paid on the bus. It is necessary to register and reserve rides in advance. Call the Township office at 630-719-6685.
  2. Discounted Cab fares – Offered by some villages to older persons and people with disabilities. Call your village to inquire.

Additional information for drivers:

  1. License Plate Discount – Provides a $75 discount for one vehicle to persons who are over age 65 or disabled and whose income for the previous year was below $27,610 for an individual or $36,635 as a couple. Applications are accepted online only at: http://www.illinois.gov/aging/BenefitsAccess. Help to apply online is provided at the Township office. For an appointment call 630-719-6682.
  1. License plate stickers – Renewal notices are no longer sent by mail!

The Secretary of State office announced that vehicle registration renewal notices no longer will be mailed. To avoid a $50 ticket you can sign up for email reminders at www.ilsos.gov/greenmail. New stickers will then be mailed to your home. If you do not have access to email or a computer you will have to go to a drivers’ license facility in order to renew your stickers.

 

Sources:

State Journal Register 9/28/15

Centers for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/older_adult_drivers/

HelpGuide.org: www.helpguide.org/articles/aging-well/age-and-driving-safety-tips.htm

Hanna Benioff
Senior Services Coordinator
Phone: (630) 719-6682
Email: hanna.benioff@dgtownship.com

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