To help older drivers to remain mobile, the Automobile Club of Southern California and Redlands Police Dept. will host a CarFit event in Redlands. Designed to help seniors over age 55, CarFit helps older drivers learn how the effects of aging can change the way they fit in their vehicles and how their driving can be affected.
The free appointment-only CarFit event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Redlands Community Center, 111 W. Lugonia Ave., 92374. Required appointments can be made by calling Corinne Lane, Redlands Police Dept., at 909-798-7561.
CarFit’s 12-pt., 15-minute checklist with a trained CarFit technician on the driver with their car includes evaluating:
- Seat-belt adjustment
- Car pedals
- Seat and steering wheel positioning
- Visibility through windows and mirrors
Often adjusting these vehicle components will help senior motorists drive more comfortably and safely. Occupational therapists specializing in driver rehabilitation will offer ways a driver can maintain and strengthen their driving health, including places to go for further evaluation.
California has the most adults over age 65. “If 75 percent of seniors are licensed in 2015, that adds up to 6.5 million licensed mature drivers,” said Anita Lorz Villagrana, the Auto Club’s community affairs and traffic safety manager. “And, more and more, seniors are driving more miles than 20 years ago,” she added.
“The Auto Club believes that people should be able to keep driving as long as they want to – if they can do so safely,” said Lorz Villagrana.
CarFit was developed by the American Society on Aging in partnership with AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Assoc.
Lorz Villagrana noted that aging affects vision, flexibility strength, range of motion, and even size and height. “CarFit helps drivers make adjustments so they’re more comfortable and controlled behind the wheel,” she said.