(HOT SPRINGS, VA) 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 from Bath Community Hospital hosted 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.
Bath Community Hospital conducted CarFit check-ups on June 2nd at Valley Elementary School despite the rain.
“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 Erin Roberts, Occupational Therapist at BCH. “CarFit provides older adults with the tools to understand and apply the safety features of their car.” At the 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
Roberts, as well as staff from the Bath Community Rehab & Wellness Center were on hand to provide consultation and to teach drivers how to maintain and improve aspects related to their driving health. Staff also provided information to participants addressing individual needs, including 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 Roberts. “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.”