With new vehicle technology, and more crowded and changing roadways, navigating can be a challenge for older drivers in New Jersey.

Carsten Koal, Getty Images

AARP has offered a driver safety program since 1979, but the agency updated its course this year, and is now offering a new Smart Driver program.

The six hour course takes place in a classroom setting and is open to the public, but is geared toward older drivers.

"We teach safety strategies and go over all of the rules and regulations in New Jersey that are applicable to our drivers," said Arline Jelley, deputy state coordinator of the AARP Driver Safety Program. "Most of us of a certain age took the driving test many years ago and the roads have changed, cars have changed and we have changed. So, we like to present how those changes have come about and how we can help ourselves to continue driving."

The idea is to keep people as independent as possible for as long as possible. "You cannot gauge a person's driving ability on age at all. It's on ability and we're trying to keep people as active and vital as they can, with the information they need to stay on the roads," Jelley said. "We update our course every three or four years because the world changes and we want to stay abreast of those changes."

The AARP Smart Driver Course can be taken in one day or over a period of two days, and it is offered at various locations throughout the state. There is also an online course available.

For more information, visit www.aarp.org/drive. The site also has a driver resource center that contains interactive games and tools that people can take after the course to stay up- to-date.