LOS ANGELES – Today at AARP’s Life@50+ National Event & Expo, the AARP Foundation announced a three-year, $12.6 million grant from Toyota to support the Foundation’s initiatives to reduce isolation and promote driver safety among older Americans.
This grant will help further the AARP Foundation’s mission to create solutions to help vulnerable, low-income older people secure their everyday essentials – food, housing, income and personal connection. The lack of safe and adequate transportation is a chief contributor to the increase in isolation among low-income, older Americans.
“Far too often half the people who don’t drive or no longer drive are stuck at home,” said Jo Ann Jenkins, president of the AARP Foundation. “This grant from Toyota will help us keep the boomer generation that grew up in carpools alert to the challenges of driving safely in an era of high-tech cars and crowded roads.”
The AARP Foundation will contract with the AARP Driver Safety Program to:
- Collaborate with the nation’s experts to develop a new driver safety course curriculum that incorporates the most innovative approaches and advancements in driver education;
- Build awareness among older drivers and younger caregivers on the importance of keeping one’s driving skills sharp and up-to-date; and
- Broaden awareness of the program in multicultural communities and recruit new volunteers.
“Safety for drivers, passengers and pedestrians is a top priority for Toyota,” said Pat Pineda, group vice president of philanthropy for Toyota. “With this grant to the AARP Foundation we are enhancing our commitment to supporting initiatives that educate people about how to maintain safe driving habits at every stage of life.”
The AARP Driver Safety Program first launched in 1979. Today, it is the nation’s largest classroom/online driver safety course designed especially for drivers age 50 and older. Since the program’s inception, over 13 million participants have completed the course. The course covers the normal changes in vision, hearing and reaction time associated with aging and provides practical techniques on how to adjust to these changes. Participants also learn how to operate their vehicles more safely in today’s increasingly challenging driving environment.
Toyota’s grant to the AARP Foundation is a significant investment in improving safety among older drivers and expands Toyota’s strong dedication to safety, which includes Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.