Operating a vehicle is a complex task, involving vision, hearing, reaction time, coordination, flexibility and strength. While all drivers must judge and respond to what is around them, aging drivers need to be especially alert due to diminished hearing, vision and mobility.

Concerning reaction time, older drivers can take twice as long as they did when younger to realize a change (such as a car pulling out) and then take appropriate action. Additionally, roads and traffic volume may be different than when older drivers started driving.

Because driving has changed since many older drivers first got their license, AARP is offering its Smart Driver course at the Urbandale Senior Center on Tuesday, May 16. This defensive driving refresher course is for anyone who would like to brush up on their skills, and gain confidence in their ability to continue driving safely. In some instances, taking a driving class can reduce your car insurance premium.

The AARP-sponsored Smart Driver class will be held Tuesday, May 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Urbandale Senior Center, located at 7305 Aurora Avenue in Urbandale. You must call ahead to register at 515-278-3907. The class is $15 for AARP members, and $20 for non-members.