(LOS ANGELES, March 4, 2011) – Beginning this year, the population age 65 and older will grow faster than the total population in every single state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. California’s senior population is expected to double in size by 2020. The Los Angeles area also has one of the highest concentrations of seniors statewide, according to the CHP.
To help Los Angeles-area mature drivers and their families address senior mobility challenges and prolong their safe driving years, the Automobile Club of Southern California will host its first AAA Senior Driver Expo on Saturday, April 2 and also will offer information on an array of AAA and community resources including the AAA Driver Improvement Program, DriveSharp, AAA Roadwise Review, AAASeniors.com and Smart Features for Mature Drivers.
The AAA Senior Driver Expo will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Auto Club’s Headquarters, 2601 S. Figueroa St., 90007. The event is free, open to the public and free parking is available off of W. 27th Street. Along with accessing senior driving materials, community resources and hands-on learning opportunities, guests can greet public television personality and travel host Huell Howser will be at the fair which is being held in the Mega Room. Attendees may register for the expo by calling the Auto Club at 877-740-8968.
“Our research shows that nearly one-in-three Americans don’t know where to turn for information and help regarding senior driver issues,” said Anita Lorz, the Auto Club’s Traffic Safety and Community Programs supervisor. “The Auto Club is hosting its first senior driver expo to provide older drivers and their adult children with tools to help assess and improve driving skills, reduce driving risks, provide local community resources and help families in dealing with senior mobility challenges,” said Lorz.
The expo will offer mature motorists a hands-on opportunity to sample AAA’s collection of senior driver resources, Show Your Card and Save® participating businesses, AAA Travel and AAA Automotive resources to help families begin their discussions about safe mobility, independence and day-to-day activities including:
- Keeping the Keys – A new AAA seminar to be offered at 10:45 a.m. during the expo. The brief program addresses long-term mobility issues facing aging drivers.
- AAASeniors.com – A one-stop online resource that offers expert advice and science-based tools and programs to help families navigate the issues associated with senior driving and mobility. A computer will be available for guests to sit down and view the website.
- Ask the Expert – An 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. panel including the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, the LAPD and a physician from UC San Diego will discuss senior driver-related topics.
- CarFit demonstration to be held in the Auto Club Headquarters parking lot courtyard where driving specialists will demo to seniors proper “fit” in an Auto Club vehicle. Seniors may sign up at the demo for an upcoming 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 16 CarFit event at the Auto Club’s Headquarters where they can be properly “fitted” to their own vehicle by the Auto Club and healthcare professionals.
- DriveSharp, an online course clinically proven to help drivers cut their risk of collision which the Auto Club will offer later in 2011.
- Safe Cars for Seniors from Enterprise with a vehicle demonstration of smart features for mature drivers by the Auto Club’s Automotive Services staff.
- AAA Roadwise Review – A computer-based screening tool that allows users to measure the functional abilities scientifically linked to crash risk among older drivers. (Attendees may ask for a copy of AAA’s Roadwise Review.)
All visitors will get the chance to win a $500 AAA Travel voucher. Additionally, participants can collect information, offers and giveaways.
Health and lifestyle providers, occupational therapists, audiologists and nurses, along with Show Your Card & Save® representatives from AAA Prescription Savings, LensCrafters, 24 Hour Fitness, Newport Audiology, Mimi’s Café, SuperShuttle/ExecuCar and Professional Drivers are expected to participate. Organizations also will be on hand to conduct health screenings, including inner ear exams, and demonstrate products, services and exercises designed to assist senior drivers. AAA Approved Auto Repair will be on hand for under-the-hood vehicle maintenance demonstrations.
Community partners expected in the expo include: the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, the CHP, the Dept. of Insurance, the City of Los Angeles Dept. of Aging, Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center, Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Access Senior Services, Los Angeles County Community and Senior Services, Caltrans, the LAPD, and Long Beach Memorial.
AAA Travel representatives on hand will include Disney Destinations, Gadabout Vacations, Grand Canyon Railroad, Hertz, Holland America and Royal Caribbean.