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CarFit: Safer Driving for Older Drivers

What is CarFit?

CarFit is an educational program developed by the American Society on Aging in collaboration with the American Automotive Association (AAA), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and AARP Driver Safety that provides older adults the opportunity to look at how their vehicles “fit” to them.  The program is community based and provides a quick 12-point check on how well you and your vehicle fit together. The process typically is completed in about 20 minutes. The following are some of the key points that the program checks:

Why is having an adjusted vehicle important?

The program is designed to improve a driver’s safety by ensuring their car is adjusted for them. Although older drivers are more likely to wear their seatbelts and not drink and drive, older drivers are more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident. Older driver’s bodies are more fragile which increases their risk for serious injury and death (Source: NHTSA).

How can you find a CarFit event in your community and is there a cost?

CarFit events are FREE! CarFit events are held nationwide and you can “Find an Event” online at www.car-fit.org [1].  Most events are held at local churches, senior centers, hospitals and outreach centers.

Additional Resources

CarFit is also designed to help improve a driver’s awareness of community resources for driving and promote conversations regarding safe driving behavior.  During the event, participants are provided with resources including additional ways to access their community and information about how to locate a local Driver Rehab Specialist to help assess a person’s needs further.

References

American Automotive Associsation (AAA) https://seniordriving.aaa.com/maintain-mobility-independence/car-buying-maintenance-assistive-accessories/carfit/ [2]

CarFit: Helping Mature Drivers Find Their Safest Fit www.car-fit.org [1]

CarFit AOTA https://www.aota.org/Practice/Productive-Aging/Driving/Practitioners/Carfit.aspx [3]

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812199 [4]

 

Written by Megan Frazier, MS, OTR, DRS

Megan Frazier is an Occupational Therapist and Driver Rehab Specialist focusing on driving safety, return to driving, home modification, aging in place design, and mobility assessments for the aging population.  Megan is the owner of Central Texas’s first private practice focused in driving, Functional Stability and Mobility (www.homeanddriving.com [5]),  which addresses driving safety, return to driving after a medical complication including adaptive driving, and driving retirement.