CarFit Event Helps Improve Comfort and Safety “Fit” for Connie Hudson Senior Center Drivers
On April 6, 2018 The University of South Alabama, Department of Occupational Therapy helped Improve Comfort and Safety “Fit” for Connie Hudson Senior Center Drivers. This event was designed 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. CarFit is 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 may make us less comfortable and reduce our control behind the wheel,” said [AOTA SPOKESPERSON, Donna Wooster, Ph.D., OTR/L]. “CarFit provides older adults with the tools to understand and apply the safety features of their car.”
At this CarFit event, trained volunteers completed a 12-point checklist with each driver. Among the items checked:
Correct position of driver’s seat
Driver’s ability to easily reach pedals Proper adjustment of mirrors
Occupational therapists were on hand also to provide a consultation, if needed that will teach drivers how to maintain and improve aspects related to their driving health. The therapist also provided information to participants addressing individual needs, included information about local community resources on exercise, nutrition and other programs to help keep them safe on the road.
“It is critically important that mature drivers make safety a personal priority,” said Donna Wooster. “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.”
Center Director, Ashley-Nicole Flowers stated, “The goal of the event was to have at least 10 vehicles register to participate; we exceeded our goal within 30 minutes into the event. It was a pleasure working with the OT Department. These types of safety events are greatly needed for our Older Adult Drivers. The total turnout for this 2 hour event was 27 cars.”