CarFit, AAA Partner to Bring Driver Safety Program to NKY Seniors
Designed to help older drivers find a better “fit” with their cars, the CarFit program has reached a milestone by helping more than 50,000 drivers throughout the country. Now, AAA is partnering with Senior Services of Northern Kentucky to bring the program to area seniors. A free, CarFit event will take place on Monday, April 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Florence Senior Activity Center located at 7431 U.S. 42 in Florence.
The CarFit program was created through a partnership between AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) to help promote conversations between older drivers and their families about driving safety, maximize safe driving independence, and help seniors get a better comfort and safety fit behind the wheel.
CarFit events use a trained team, including occupational therapy practitioners from St. Elizabeth Healthcare to assist older drivers with items such as:
- A clear line-of-sight over the steering wheel
- Adequate space between the front air bag/steering wheel and the driver’s breastbone
- Properly adjusted head restraints
- Proper positioning on gas and brake pedals
- Proper seat belt use and fit, and safe positioning of mirrors to minimize blind spots
“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 Cheryl Parker, Corporate Public Affairs Manager, AAA. “CarFit provides older adults with the tools to understand and apply the safety features of their car.”
According to a national survey of more than 7,000 seniors, the top four “fit” challenges for older drivers included:
- Improper distance from steering wheel (59 percent);
- Adequate and safe views from side mirrors (32 percent);
- Improper seat height (28 percent) and improper head restraint height (21 percent)
The encouraging news is that after a run through the CarFit twelve-point checklist, 97 percent of participants’ issues were resolved. The CarFit event at the Florence Senior Activity Center will include a complimentary preventative maintenance inspection by technicians from AAA/Bob Sumerel Tire & Service, a AAA membership special for seniors, and free refreshments. To register for a 20-minute CarFit appointment, call 859-282-4061.
-Staff report/Photo: CarFit workers (provided)