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Effectiveness: 3 Star Cost: Varies
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Formal courses specifically for older drivers have historically been offered by organizations including AAA, AARP, and the National Safety Council, either independently or under accreditation by States (Potts et al., 2004; TRB, 2005). The courses typically involve 6 to 10 hours of classroom-based training in basic safe driving practices and in how to adjust driving to accommodate age-related cognitive and physical changes. A relatively new course, the Smart DriverTEK course, offered by AARP, educates drivers on the safety features and technologies in their vehicles (Donahue, 2018). The course is delivered as short-duration workshops, either in-person or online, and includes material on technologies such as smart headlights, reverse camera systems, collision and proximity warning (e.g., blind spot, lane departure, and forward collision), and post-crash emergency (also known as automatic crash or advanced automatic crash) notification systems.

Participants of these courses often report an increase in knowledge or awareness and self-report changes to driving behavior. However, none of the courses have been shown to reduce crashes (Potts et al., 2004). Graduates of both the AARP classroom and online courses report that they changed some driving behaviors because of the course (Skufca, 2011). The most thorough evaluation studied approximately 200,000 course graduates and a 360,000-driver comparison group in California from 1988 to 1992. It found that course graduates had fewer citations but no fewer crashes than non-graduates (Janke, 1994). Similarly, Owsley et al. (2004) evaluated the effects of a well-designed 3-hour educational course promoting safe driving strategies for older drivers with some visual defects. Course graduates reported that they regulated their driving more following the course than a control group that did not attend the course. However, there was no significant difference in crash rates between course graduates and the control group, an outcome that has been reinforced by subsequent research (Kua et al., 2007; Nasvadi & Vavrik, 2007; Owsley et al., 2004).