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CarFit Event for Senior Drivers Set for May 15

May 09, 2013

ANKENY, Iowa – May 9, 2013 – To promote safe senior driving, the Iowa Department of Transportation, in coordination with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), will host a CarFit event in conjunction with the Polk County Senior Fest and Health Fair. CarFit activities will be conducted in the parking lot of the Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Wednesday, May 15, from 9 a.m. to noon.   

CarFit is a national educational program created by the American Society on Aging and developed in collaboration with the American Automobile Association, AARP and American Occupational Therapy Association. 

Health professionals and trained volunteers will review 12 key areas with older drivers to ensure they "fit" their vehicle properly for maximum comfort and safety. A CarFit check takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

CarFit also provides information and materials on community-specific resources that enhance driver safety and mobility. 

Some of the discussion points during a CarFit event include:

  • Mirror adjustments. Properly adjusting the vehicle’s mirrors can greatly minimize blind spots for drivers when changing lanes.
  • Good foot positioning on the gas and brake pedals. Drivers who reach with their toes to press the pedals can experience reduced reaction times and fatigue in their legs.
  • Position of the driver in relationship to the steering wheel. Drivers run a risk of serious injury if they are sitting closer than 10 inches to the steering wheel.

Having a car that “fits” the older driver is important. While older drivers are often considered safer drivers because they're more likely to wear seat belts and less likely to speed or drink and drive, they are more likely to be seriously injured in a crash because their bodies are more fragile. Older drivers can 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. 

Senior drivers are encouraged to set up an appointment for the May 15 event by calling Theresa Kern at 515-237-3253 or email theresa.kern@dot.iowa.gov.

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(Editor’s note: Media will be able to interview mobility experts, older drivers and shoot footage of this event.)

 

 


Iowa highway in the evening