For most seniors the friendly roads of their youth have changed a lot in the years since they got their drivers licenses.
Depending on the age group, some got their privilege to drive in the days before interstate highways; others cut their driving teeth on freeways, but today find them so crowded in metropolitan areas that they find themselves uncomfortable with being on them.
American highways are busier than ever. Traffic has doubled on most major roads in the last 30 years and is expected only to get heavier as the population of the country grows, both nationally and regionally.
For seniors, the once enjoyable activity of driving can be full of fear and even life threatening.
On Dec. 4-5 the Price Senior Center will be holding driving classes for seniors called the AARP Driver Safety course. It will be taught by Leonard Miller.
The course will run from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. each day.
Miller will teach seniors how to compensate for age related changes that result as people start to lose their reaction time.
He will also do an update for seniors on the rules of the road.
He will also do a section on reducing traffic violations, crashes and the chances of being injured in crashes.
The senior population is the fastest growing segment of the population in the United States. Presently, people over 65 comprised 13 percent of the total population in the last census (2000). There are 19 million drivers over age 70 right now, and by 2025, one in four drivers in the United States will be over 65.
The fact is that with aging, physical and cognitive limitations may impede an older person's ability to drive safely.
But the majority of Americans have not planned to retire from driving, in fact many plan on driving more.
For almost everyone mobility is key to independence and quality of life. Many say that if they couldn't drive they would be lost.
Without support from friends, relatives and organizations, many of these older people who can no longer drive may also lose their ability to live independently in the community.
The senior centers in both Price and East Carbon also announced that they will be closed on Christmas Day and the day after Christmas as well.