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McMinnville man named AARP Driver Safety volunteer of the year

Arthur (Art) B. Cuscaden III of McMinnville has been named the 2013 AARP Driver Safety West Region volunteer of the year.

Cuscaden first became a Driver Safety volunteer in October 2006. He has an impressive history of teaching the program and recently completed his 100th class, reaching 1,643 participants. He and his team of 11 instructors taught 85 classes in 2013 in the Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties, more than in any other district in Oregon.

“Art’s leadership has been invaluable,” said David Cary, district coordinator for Oregon’s Driver Safety Program. “He sets an example of professionalism, involvement and dedication to his volunteer positions.”

This past year, the Driver Safety class changed its name and updated the curriculum, and Cuscaden was a member of the Video Subcommittee for the national AARP Smart Driver curriculum development task force.

“I am honored to be selected for this prestigious award,” he said. “I find teaching the Smart Driver Program and working with the other instructors in my district, keeps me active and engaged. It is very rewarding to be able to share my knowledge and help make better drivers of the students who take my classes.”

There are 106 volunteer instructors in Oregon. The state goal for 2014 is to reach 10,000 participants with the new curriculum.

AARP driver safety

The AARP initiative has helped older drivers stay safe, educated and confident behind the wheel since 1979. The new AARP Smart Driver™ Course began Jan. 1, 2014, and is available throughout Oregon in both a classroom setting, led by certified volunteer instructors, and online at http://www.aarp.org/ADS2014. Through extensive research the program identified and highlights areas of opportunity in which older drivers can benefit from additional training such as: managing roundabouts, pavement markings, stop-sign compliance, and safety issues such as speeding, seatbelt and turn signal use.

In addition to learning safety strategies that can reduce the likelihood of a crash, participants of the new course will learn how aging, medications, alcohol, and other health-related issues affect driving ability, and how to adjust driving accordingly to allow for these changes. The course also helps participants determine when it may not be best to drive (such as late at night and inclement weather) and how to plan for a time when driving is no longer an option.

In Oregon, drivers 55 and older may be eligible for a reduction in automobile insurance premium charges once they complete the AARP Smart Driver course.

Individuals interested in becoming an AARP Driver Safety volunteer instructor or would like to host a class, contact Cuscaden at 503-435-2448 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..