Older drivers are often the safest drivers, in that they are more likely to wear their seatbelts, and less likely to speed or drink and drive. However, older drivers are more likely to be killed or seriously injured when a crash does occur due to the greater fragility of their aging bodies.
Driver safety programs improve adult driver safety by addressing cognitive abilities and skills, however, older drivers can also improve their safety by ensuring their cars are properly adjusted for them. A proper fit in one's car can greatly increase not only the driver's safety but also the safety of others.
Many older drivers have difficulty fitting into their own cars well. Whether it is adjusting mirrors in order to see the blind spot, positioning seats to be far enough away from the steering wheel yet with enough room to reach the gas pedal, or getting the seat belt to fit comfortably, there are many adjustments that can be made to find the safest fit. The CarFit program was developed to meet this need—and it is coming to Manchester.
AAA, AARP, the American Occupational Therapy Association, the Injury Prevention Center of Hartford Hospital/Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Genesis Rehab Services are partnering to bring CarFit to the Manchester Senior Center. This free event is scheduled for Saturday, September 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the senior center at 549 East Middle Turnpike.
Trained volunteers will lead drivers through a 12-point checklist with their vehicle, recommend personal vehicle adjustments and adaptations, and offer community-specific resources and activities that could make their personal vehicles “fit” better and enhance their safety. An occupational therapist will also be on hand to provide information to older drivers on how to maintain and strengthen driving health. Individual appointments will take approximately 30 minutes. For an appointment, please call 860-249-1245.