Keeping Your Mobility With CarFit
Do you find yourself adjusting your driver’s seat or mirrors constantly? Do you feel sore after driving? As we age, natural changes occur with our vision, flexibility, and reflexes that may impact our driving. These changes become highlighted if we are driving a car that does not “fit” us. That’s where CarFit comes in.
What is CarFit
CarFit was developed by AAA, AARP Driver Safety, and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA.) It is an educational program that offers older adults the opportunity to check how well their vehicles fit their needs as well as providing information and materials on community-specific resources that could enhance a driver’s safety and increase their mobility within their community.
How will CarFit Help
With CarFit, a team of trained technicians and/or health professionals work with each driver to discover how best they can “fit” their car to them for maximum comfort and safety.
Some changes could include teaching a driver how to properly adjust their mirrors to minimize blind spots, how to position your foot on the gas and brake pedals to minimize fatigue in your leg, and sitting far enough away from the steering wheel to minimize injury if the airbag is deployed.
You can then explore safety features that can be added to a vehicle. This could be anything from review video systems, additional mirrors, or pedal risers. Pairing these safety changes with familiar routes and mainly daytime driving can significantly increase your confidence as a driver and your safety on the road.
These simple changes and other adjustments suggested by your CarFit technician will greatly improve the fit of one’s vehicle, and the proper use of safety features.
Older drivers are among the safest group of road users. They are less likely to drive drunk, less likely to speed, and more likely to wear their seatbelt. However, in the event of a crash they are more likely to be killed or seriously injured. This is why it is so important for older road users to feel comfortable and safe while driving their vehicle.
Photo source: Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph