As of Tuesday, April 11, 2017
To help the 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, and all senior drivers find a better fit with their cars for comfort and safety, mobility experts are hosting a safety program designed to help older drivers and their families on Sunday, May 7 at the Hood River Valley Adult Center. To register, call 541-478-2363.
CarFit is a national program developed by AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association, and is designed to give a quick, yet comprehensive, check on how well an older driver and their vehicle work together.
“As we age, changes in our vision, flexibility, strength, range of motion and even size and height make us less comfortable and reduce our control behind the wheel,” said Richard Frost, event coordinator. “CarFit provides older adults with the tools to understand and apply the safety features of their car.”
Trained volunteers will complete a 12-point checklist with each driver, including correct position of the driver’s seat, the driver’s ability to easily reach the pedals, and proper adjustment of mirrors to reduce blind spots.
Occupational therapists are on hand to provide a consultation, if needed, that will teach drivers how to maintain and improve aspects related to their driving health. The therapist can also provide information to participants addressing individual needs, including information about local community resources on exercise, nutrition and other programs to keep them safe on the road.
“It is critically important that mature drivers make safety a personal priority,” said Frost. “Driving today is more difficult than ever because of increased traffic congestion, longer commute distances, new technology and faster speeds. Older drivers can take important measures to mitigate the stress associated with driving.”
Older drivers can also check with their local AAA club or AARP office to take a driver safety refresher course, or look into occupational therapy driving evaluation programs for individualized assessments and recommendations. CarFit represents an extension of those classroom programs, and an opportunity for older drivers to make sure their personal vehicles are adjusted to their needs.