As we take out for summer vacations and as we begin to prepare for schools to be back in session, Butler County Department on Aging wants to help keep safe drivers on the road – no matter what age. Several items of assistance are available to those in need.

There are many businesses that adapt vehicles to a driver’s physical needs. Handicap driving devices are available to help persons with arthritis or muscle disorders. Ramps can be installed, in vans, for wheel chairs. Lifts and wheel chair holders are also available. There are some funds available to help persons with certain disorders. Check your not for profit organization to see if they can help, financially or with recommendations.

It is estimated that 9 percent of Americans have some sort of hearing loss. For those with hearing impairments, not hearing the turn flashers or not hearing emergency vehicles are both trouble. It is possible to have a special flasher unit installed that is noticeably louder than normal. These units simply plug into electrical sockets (formerly known as cigarette lighter holes) in the vehicle. There are also warning lights available in auto parts stores and from mail order stores that are far brighter than normal, pale-green turn signals. For emergency vehicle sirens, there are special warning devices that let a hearing impaired driver know they are approaching. Some units are so specific that they let the driver know if a siren is coming or if a car horn is being used.

All drivers need to be reminded to “drive cool when the kids are in school.” Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for those 14 and younger. Almost one fourth of all pedestrians who are killed by vehicles are children. Seventy nine percent of those deaths are in locations that are not intersections. Obviously, we all need to be more aware of children running into the street. AAA asks all drivers to practice what we learned in driver’s education:

Signal your intentions. Stay right, except to pass. Yield to oncoming traffic. Obey posted speed limits.

When you cannot drive safely, for reasons of age or health, the Butler County Department on Aging has transportation services for you. We run routes in Augusta and El Dorado daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. We run a morning route in Andover daily from 8:30 a.m. to noon. We travel to Wichita on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Every other week, we go to Douglass. We pick up in Leon as requested. This is a door-to-door service. Prices in town are only 50 cents a trip, with ticket books that give you 25 rides for $10.

The Butler County Department on Aging can provide other aids to help you age in place. Please contact us at 316-775-0500 for more information.