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A Senior Car-Fit for Independent Drivers
You try on shoes and clothes to make sure they fit. You don’t like to wear shoes that pinch, pants that are too long, or shirts that are too tight. But did you know that your car needs to fit you too? They require a proper senior car fit. Especially the elderly.
There’s an educational program for senior drivers to help you and your car work together for safer driving.
It’s called Car-Fit, and the program is offered at events in various communities throughout the U.S. AAA, AARP, and the American Occupational Therapy Association developed the Senior Car-Fit program.
The goal is to ensure that older drivers are safer by ensuring that their cars are set up to meet their physical needs.
Generally, senior drivers are safer drivers because they are more likely to drive at safe speeds and avoid risky behaviors. However, seniors can be seriously hurt in car accidents because of their more vulnerable physical conditions.
The Car-Fit Program
The Car-Fit program helps seniors check how they fit physically in their car and helps them learn to adjust their car’s safety features to suit their needs.
At a Car-Fit event, technicians and health professionals work with each driver to cover a checklist of items to evaluate the fit.
The evaluation takes about 20 minutes, and the results are written and confidential.
The trained Car-Fit team will look at how the driver is positioned in the car seat and ensure that the seat’s height and tilt are adjusted correctly for comfort and range of motion.
Also, the distance of the driver from the steering wheel is essential because of the impact of an airbag in an accident.
Finally, there should be at least 10 inches between the airbag, which is in the center of the steering wheel, and the driver’s chest.
Get a Good Fit
When the driver is in the right seat, the team will check to see if he or she can easily reach the brake and gas pedals.
They will see if the senior driver can turn his head to check for a visual blind spot or if he needs a panoramic rear-view mirror to make that critical visual check.
Does the driver know where the head restraint should be placed and how to adjust it? The team will make recommendations if adjustments or adaptive equipment are needed.
Most of these adaptable products are sold as aftermarket parts at stores that sell car parts.
To see if there’s an event near you, check out their website.