LEWISTON – Winter is coming, and that means slippery road conditions are around the bend. In Idaho, a program is offering tips on how people can drive safely during the cold months. AARP Idaho is offering its driver safety program virtually and in person.
Steve Moreno is a volunteer driver safety instructor who says one of the program’s goals is to provide tips for people as they age.
“How do we compensate for the fact that we don’t hear, see or react as quickly or as well as we did when we first started driving?,” Moreno asked.
He noted the course is not just for older Idahoans; it is open to everyone. If someone has points on their license accrued for violations, they can have up to three removed by attending a course. Moreno said the first in-person course in Boise is scheduled for Oct. 24.
Moreno said winter driving presents a number of challenges to the person behind the wheel. Along with snowy and icy roads, there are fewer daylight hours. He had some suggestions for what people should have in their car to be prepared for winter weather emergencies, even if they are just driving around town.
“Things like an ice scraper, snow brush, windshield washer fluid that’s designed for cold weather so it doesn’t freeze, a blanket perhaps,” Moreno outlined. “Make sure you got good tires, all of your lights work; headlights, taillights, turn signals, etc.”
Moreno said one tip he offers, especially for retired drivers, is to consider waiting out the bad weather and traveling later, rather than venturing into potentially hazardous conditions. He made other recommendations for long-distance trips, especially in the West, where many places without alternative routes exist.
“If something happens on the road that you’re traveling on, you may be there for a long time until it’s cleared, and for that reason, I would suggest that you do two things,” Moreno said. “One is to make sure you have a full fuel tank, and the other is to make sure you have an empty bladder before you leave home.”
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