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National Safety Council. Driver Improvement Programs. Your Safety & Health Leader For 90 Years. Founded by large industrial corporations in 1913 to educate workers on safe practices Declared the premier safety organization of the nation by Charter of United States Congress in 1953.

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National Safety Council

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National safety council

National Safety Council

Driver Improvement Programs

Your safety health leader for 90 years

Your Safety & Health LeaderFor 90 Years

  • Founded by large industrial corporations in 1913 to educate workers on safe practices

  • Declared the premier safety organization of the nation by Charter of United States Congress in 1953

Who we are

Who We Are

  • Employer of approximately 300 full-time people throughout the U.S.

  • A private, not-for-profit membership organization that provides programs, products and services to approximately 40,000 companies, organizations and Training Centers

  • The first to develop a defensive driving course

  • 50 Chapters nationwide

  • A network of roughly 2,500 Defensive Driving Course Training Centers and 12,000 instructors nationwide

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The Leader in Driver Improvement Programs

NSC’s largest program activity

It represents almost 25% of our total program activity

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DDC Historical Highlights


  • 40 years of experience

  • 1.5 million drivers trained annually

  • Worldwide network of Training Centers

  • More than 30 different programs customized for specific industries including:

    • Utilities

    • Public Works

    • Trucking

    • School

    • Public Transportation

    • Traffic Violators

Mature population

Mature Population

  • There are more than 26 million people age 70 years and older in the United States.

  • In 2002, this age group made up 9% of the total U.S. resident population.

  • From 1992 to 2002, the growth rate of this older segment of the population was 27% higher than the growth rate of the total population.

  • In 2000, there were about 35.0 million people age 65 and over, in 2020 this age group is estimated to be over 53.7 million, by 2030 this age group will exceed 70.3 million, and by 2050 this age group will exceed 82.0 million (20.3% of the population).

    Source: Traffic Safety Facts 2002 – Older Population, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Older Americans in 2000: Key Indicators of Well-Being, Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics at accessed January 7, 2004.

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Number of Person 65+, 1900 – 2050

(numbers in millions)

Source: Administration on Aging, Profile of Older Americans: 2000, February 9, 2001.

Mature driver population

Mature Driver Population

  • Older drivers made up 10% of all licensed drivers in 2001.

  • In 2002, 154,000 older individuals were injured in traffic crashes.

  • Older individuals made up:

    • 12% of all traffic fatalities

    • 12% of all vehicle occupant fatalities

    • 17% of all pedestrian fatalities

      Source: Traffic Safety Facts 2002 – Older Population, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Driver fatality rates by age 1996

Driver Fatality Rates by Age, 1996

  • The fatality rate for drivers 85 and older is 9 times as high as the rate for drivers 25 through 69 years old.

  • Source: Traffic Safety Facts 2000 – Older Population, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

  • The importance of driving

    The Importance of Driving

    • The automobile is the primary mode of transportation in the U.S. 

    • Persons over age 65 make more than 90% of their trips by private vehicles, either as a driver or passenger.

    • In 2000, about 50% of of older persons lived in suburban areas, 27% lived in central cities, and 23% in nonmetropolitan areas.

    • Most suburbs are designed so that residents must drive. 

    • The lack of public transportation in rural areas has further increased reliance on the automobile.

      Source: A Profile of Older Americans: 2002, American Association of Retired Persons Research Center at

      accessed January 7, 2004.

    Greater risk for mature drivers

    Greater Risk for Mature Drivers

    • Aging Process:

      • Vision

      • Hearing

      • Sensation

      • Range of Motion

      • Motor Skills

      • Cognitive Skills

      • Prescription Medicine

    • Environmental Barriers

      • Design and Location of Roadways

      • Traffic Signs

      • Modern Instrument Panels

      • Airbags

    Source: American Association of Retired Persons Research Center.

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    Topical Areas For Education & Awareness

    • Importance of Safety Belts 

    • Maintaining a Cushion of Safety 

    • Compensating for the Effects of Aging 

    • Effects of Medications on Driving

    • Signage: New Signs, Signals, markings, and Technical Innovations 

    • Weather Conditions

    • Intersections

    • Highway, Rural, and Urban driving Scenarios

    • Regulating Driving Behavior 

    • Adopting Different Travel Patterns

      • Driving Shorter Distances

      • Driving Less At night

      • Avoiding Rush Hours

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    • Traditional Classroom Program

    •  Taught by Certified DDC Instructors

    •  Six or Eight Hours in Length

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    Course Materials

    • Teaching Kit: includes the Instructor Guide with transparencies, and a video featuring Changes and The Mature Driver.

    • Driver Response Book: features a self-appraisal, question analysis, and personal health and safety audit. Includes a certificate of completion.

    National safety council

    Course Content

    Session I: Introduction, Self Appraisal and Safety Belts & Air Bags

    Session II: Physical Changes and Cushion of Safety

    Session III: Multiple-Lane Highway Driving

    Session IV: City Driving

    Session V: Pedestrian Safety

    Session VI: Driving on Rural Roads

    Session VII: Special Considerations

    Session VIII: Self-Appraisal Review

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