Program promotes vehicle safety for older drivers
A CarFit event, which offers older adults the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles “fit” them, will take place at Helen Hayes Hospital on Saturday April 30, 2011 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. CarFit is a nationwide educational program created by the American Society on Aging and developed in collaboration with AAA (American Automobile Association), AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association. The event, which will take place at the physical rehabilitation hospital in West Haverstraw, is free of charge and open to the public.
The program is designed to help older drivers find out how well they currently fit their personal vehicle, to highlight actions they can take to improve their fit, and to promote conversations about driver safety and community mobility. A proper fit in one’s personal vehicle can greatly increase not only the driver’s comfort and safety, but also the safety of others.
Participants will each have a 20-minute, one-on-one consultation with a certified CarFit technician. The technician will go through a 12 point checklist to evaluate vehicle fit, including: mirror adjustment to reduce blind spots; foot positioning on the gas and brake pedals; seat positioning and line of sight over the steering wheel; properly adjusted head restraints. Hospital occupational therapists will be on hand to make recommendations of adjustments and adaptations, including adaptive devices such as seat belt extenders or steering wheel covers. Such changes help drivers benefit from their vehicle’s safety features and enable them to be in better control behind the wheel.
It has been estimated that by the year 2030, 65 million older drivers will be on our roads. Changes in vision, flexibility and strength, range of motion and height can all affect driving. Ensuring that your vehicle is a good fit to accommodate such changes is a valuable safety precaution.
The CarFit event on April 30 is free, but an appointment is required. To schedule an appointment, call 845-786-4809. For additional information on CarFit, visit the web site at www.car-fit.org.
This event is made possible through the support of the Helen Hayes Hospital Foundation.