(NAPSI)-The number of senior drivers on the road continues to rise. According to AAAseniors.com, there will be approximately 54 million Americans over 65 years old in 2020 and many members of that group will be driving. Being an older driver doesn’t mean that person shouldn’t drive, but it’s helpful to plan ahead and take steps to ensure the safest trip or drive possible.

• Assess the situation—While it should be up to the older driver to evaluate his or her own driving abilities, senior driver or senior improvement courses are great ways to help in that assessment. Senior driving classes can reacquaint a driver with the rules of the road, point out warning signs and discuss new driving issues such as distractions, including texting and cell phones. Check with your local senior center, AARP or AAA for senior driving courses near you.

• Be prepared for emergencies—Consider getting a cell phone if you don’t have one. Donated and recycled phones programmed to only dial 9-1-1 are available. Some cell phones come with larger buttons and displays to make them easier for seniors to use and several service carriers have special senior calling plans. Have an emergency preparedness kit in the trunk that includes phone numbers to call in an emergency (relatives or neighbors, towing company, local garage or dealership), quart of motor oil, tire gauge, white cloth or sign that will help you signal for help, jumper cables, flashlight and blanket.

• Running smooth—A well-maintained vehicle is another factor in safe driving. That’s why it is important to follow regular maintenance practices. Check the air pressure and condition of your tires and have them rotated. A good rule of thumb is to rotate them every other oil change. Get your oil changed and, to extend the life of your car and the oil, consider using a synthetic motor oil. Cars using a synthetic oil such as Royal Purple can go up to 10,000 miles between oil changes, which means less money spent on oil changes and less impact on the environment with less oil disposed.

• Keep it safe—Other items to check for safe driving include: Clean and adjust your headlights. A technician at a dealership or repair shop can adjust the aim to help you see the road better and help other drivers avoid glare. Keep your windows clean inside and out to increase visibility. Repair any windshield chips or cracks before they have a chance to spread.

For seniors or anyone who enjoys driving, one of the first steps for safety on the road is following the basics and being prepared. For more information on Royal Purple products, visit www.royalpurple.com or call (888) 382-6300.