A driving educator and instructor offers refresher tips for seniors in this debut manual.
Think of McCormack’s book as a kind of “everything you learned about driving years ago but probably take for granted” guide. The author adheres to a philosophy he calls “Advantageous Driving”—“a driver’s ongoing effort to optimally and strategically position” the vehicle. He reinforces this belief in a work that concentrates on basic driving maneuvers and courtesy. While he acknowledges the older driver’s lengthy experience, McCormack hopes to “add an incremental improvement, or two.” The volume is divided into three sections: The Driver, The Vehicle, and The Roadways. The first section is appropriately the longest and most detailed; it discusses why some drivers are good and others mediocre, provides a checklist and skill suggestions, and details sound strategies when turning, approaching traffic lights, changing lanes, merging, and parking. This section also highlights a number of issues specifically related to senior drivers, such as changes in distance perception and visual acuity, taking over from a spouse to become the new primary driver, and driving with a disability. Part 2 covers information about motor vehicles, such as basic maintenance, types of ownership, fuel choices, and ways to personalize a vehicle. This helpful section offers insight into some of the more current technologies as well, including the various wheel drive options (front, rear, four wheel, and all wheel), new transmission systems, vehicle color safety research, new safety innovations such as blind-spot monitoring and frontal hazard detection, and even a bit about futuristic self-driving cars. This information may be too technical for some but it does hold a certain fascination. The third section traces the origin of the interstate highway system, potentially an intriguing historical foray for seniors, and describes what the future may hold for roadways. There is also a much-needed discussion about when it may be time to stop driving, including a nifty 22-point checklist of “warning signs.” The easy-to-read book closes with worthy resources for drivers.
Authoritative and nonjudgmental; filled with useful tips and information targeted to seniors that should reinforce or rekindle their enthusiasm for safe, attentive driving.