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Test driving reaction times

By GEOFFREY GRAY, Associate Florida Coordinator/55 Alive
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 28, 2002

If you had been born in 1890, Mr. or Ms. Average Man or Woman, you would not have been expected to reach your 45th birthday.

But Mr. A.M. born in 1990 could expect to reach his 72nd birthday, while Ms. A.M. would outlive him by more than seven years, to nearly 80.

These, of course, are only average life expectancies for the majority of people in developed countries, but clearly we are living longer than ever before in history.

Very well, but bear something else in mind. We may have built a better world in terms of hygiene and medical care, but we have not necessarily improved in the department of unimpaired abilities during those extended years. We still tend to lose some of our sharpness in eyesight, hearing and speed of reaction to dangerous situations from as early as age 50, and we may now have to live with those limitations for another 30 years or more.

Such abilities are so vital to those of us who drive that we had better get some help or we may end our lives (or others') long before our time. We may suspect that we are less agile than we were, but in such matters as reaction time we need guidance on how to test ourselves.

We need the insight into our driving skills that only a good refresher course can give us. This could be a real life saver, and at the same time save us a bundle on auto insurance premiums, because completing such a course entitles eligible drivers to discounts for the next three years.

Choose a convenient location in the class list below, and call the number given for that class to register (that is a must). You will enjoy the course, offered by AARP's driver safety program. There are no graded tests, and it will cost you only $10 for two 4-hour sessions.

If you would be interested in volunteering for a part-time, stay-at-home position as a telephone coordinator, please call (727) 393-5988. You will be helping a worthy cause, and you will get to chat with dozens of interesting people.

Please note: Telephone numbers marked with asterisks are answered by the sponsor or an answering service. All others are the instructors' personal numbers.

June classes

CLEARWATER: June 3 and 4, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., Barbee Towers, 1100 Druid Road; call (727) 530-4307

CLEARWATER: June 10 and 12, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., American Red Cross, 2481 Sunset Point Road; call (727) 799-5295.

CLEARWATER: June 17 and 18, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Highland Terrace, 1520 Jefford St.; call (727) 524-6059.

CLEARWATER: June 20 and 21, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bayview Gardens, Conference Bldg., 2855 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd.; call (727) 791-3661.

CLEARWATER: June 8 and 15, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., the Oaks of Clearwater, 420 Bay Ave.; call (727) 518-9469.

DUNEDIN: June 1 and 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mease Manor, 700 Mease Plaza; call (727) 584-5637*.

DUNEDIN: June 17 and 19, 1 to 5 p.m., Dunedin Senior Center, Douglas Ave.; call (727) 443-0148

DUNEDIN: June 20 and 21, 1 to 5 p.m., Edinborough Square, 1059 Virginia St.; call (727) 446-2976

GULFPORT: June 11 and 18, 1 to 5 p.m., Gulfport Senior Center, 5501 27th Ave. S; call (727) 367-4038.

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH: June 27 and 28, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Church of the Isles, 24th Ave. and Bay Blvd.; call (727) 524-6059.

LARGO: June 4 and 11, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Largo Community Center, 65 Fourth St. NW; call (727) 596-1365.

LARGO: June 10 and 17, 1 to 5 p.m., Largo Police Dept. Training Center, 201 Highland Ave.; call (727) 398-5253.

LARGO: June 18 and 25, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Largo Community Center, 65 Fourth St. NW; call (727) 596-1365.

LARGO: June 10 and 12, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Royal Palms, the Palms of Largo, 200 Lake Ave. NE; call (727) 733-5624.

LARGO: June 13 and 14, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sun Coast Hospital, 2025 Indian Rocks Road; call (727) 393-1266.

OLDSMAR: June 24 and 25, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Oldsmar Senior Center, 127 State St.; call (813) 749-1195*.

PALM HARBOR: June 12 and 13, 1 to 5 p.m., Palm Harbor Activity Center, 1500 16th St.; call (727) 771-6000*

PALM HARBOR: June 6 and 7, 1 to 5 p.m., Coral Oaks of Marriott, 900 West Lake Drive; call (727) 787-3333*.

PALM HARBOR: June 5 and 7, 1 to 5 p.m., Marriott Stratford Court, 45 Katherine Blvd.; call (727) 787-1500*

PINELLAS PARK: June 10 and 11, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Pinellas Park Senior Center Annex, 5800, 77th Ave. N; call (727) 540-0685.

PINELLAS PARK: June 13 and 14, 5 to 9 p.m., Pinellas Park Senior Center Annex, 5800, 77th Ave. N; call (727) 576-2812.

SEMINOLE: June 13 and 14, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Inn at Freedom Square, 10801 Johnson Blvd.; call (727) 517-8889.

SEMINOLE: June 19 and 21, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Seminole Community Library, 9199 113th St. N; call (727) 399-2637.

ST. PETERSBURG: June 10 and 11, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., St Anthony's Hospital, 1200 Seventh Ave. N; call (727) 576-2812.

ST. PETERSBURG: June 25 and 26, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Prevatt Funeral Home, 801 Tyrone Blvd.; call (727) 522-7706.

ST. PETERSBURG: June 11 and 12, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., College Harbor, 4600 54th Ave. S; call (727) 522-7706.

ST. PETERSBURG: June 11 and 12, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunshine Senior Center, 330 Fifth St. N; call (727) 893-7622*.

ST. PETERSBURG: June 12 and 13, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Gee & Sorensen, 3180 30th Ave. N; call (727) 522-7706.

ST. PETERSBURG: June 12 and 19, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Azalea Center, 1600 72nd St. N; call (727) 397-6762.

ST. PETERSBURG: June 15 and 22, 8 a.m. to noon, Northside Hospital & Heart Center, 6000 49th St. N.; call (727) 521-5072*.

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