Does Your “CarFit” Your Driving Style?

February 15, 2013

Adult children seem to spend  a lot of time telling our aging parents what can and cannot be done any longer.  Living alone, making financial decisions or….driving.  Have you ever discussed “CarFit” with your senior parents?

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Senior Drivers Can Be Proactive About Auto Safety

As  adult children, our hope is to help maintain our parents’ dignity while ensuring that they are safe drivers.   CarFit offers an excellent opportunity for adult children and their senior drivers to assess the safety and adaptations for senior drivers.

CarFit is a cooperative effort between the American Society of Aging, the American Automotive Association, the American Occupational Therapy Association and AARP.  The voluntary event is a 12-point comprehensive evaluation of how well the driver and car work together.

How Does Your “CarFit” You?

1.  More than 1/3 of senior drivers are found to have critical safety issues that should be addressed.

2.  One in 10 senior drivers sit too close to the steering wheel; a safety concern in the event of an accident.

3.  About 20 percent do not maintain a line of sight at least 3 inches above the steering wheel.

Many safety concerns can be addressed with realignment of side mirrors, proper foot positioning on pedals to reduce fatigue, and maintaining a safe distance from the steering wheel and airbags.

The 30-minute CarFit assessment evaluates key checkpoints that assists drivers in maintaining proper visibility and posture while driving.  The CarFit assessment is voluntary and confidential.  Although recommendations may be made regarding adjustments to the car for a safer driving experience, no changes will be made to an automobile during the evaluation.

Currently, CarFit events are in limited areas.  Please click on CarFit.org to see if there is an event near you.

As teens, driving was our first leap to adulthood and independence.  As seniors, driving and maintaining a car can be one last link to an ever-decreasing independent lifestyle.  A proactive approach to senior driving may help ensure a safer experience for drivers, as well as others on the road.

 

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