With the intention of improving driving skills and lowering the cost of auto insurance, a increasing number of adult and senior Americans are enrolling in driving school.
Though the traditional classes do continue to exist, it is the computer-based classes that are filling up the fastest. Instead of practicing in “student driver” labeled cars, adult and senior drivers are now able to take online classes that are typically between four and eight hours in total length.
These classes are one of the quickest ways for seniors to brush up on their driving knowledge and skills before a driving test, or to obtain an auto insurance discount. In 2010, the online driver safety course offered by AARP had over 60,000 students across the country, which was an increase of approximately 30 percent over the number of enrollees in 2009. By July 2011, there had already been 40,000 people enrolled in the AARP course.
Moreover, over the last three years, the national online senior driving course offered by the American Automobile Association has also seen an increase in its enrolment by an average of 20 percent per year. According to the president of the online defensive driving course called Professional Driving Associates, Wade Mezey, “There’s been an increasing level of interest from seniors.”
That said, according to Laval University professor Normand Teasdale – who studies senior driving patterns – said that research is indicating that classroom programs aren’t having the desired positive impact on a driver’s performance. He said that practice and regular feedback is required for performance improvements.