Auto Club Hosts CarFit Event For Senior Drivers In Garden Grove

(GARDEN GROVE, June 17, 2009) — The Automobile Club of Southern California and those who work with seniors will be participating in a Senior Driving Day, which includes a CarFit event, at Nifty after Fifty so those senior experts can offer the program for older drivers in other communities, according to the Auto Club.

CarFit helps senior drivers over age 65 learn about how the effects of aging change the way they fit in their vehicle and how their driving can be affected. A CarFit consists of a 12-point., 20-minute checklist on the driver and the car, which includes a safety-belt, foot pedals, vision and mirrors adjustment to ensure that drivers are in a safe driving position. CarFit also offers resources in the community so seniors know where they can go for further evaluation regarding exercise, nutrition and use of adaptive devices for driving.

The Senior Driving Day with the CarFit event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, June 26, at Nifty after Fifty, 12572 Valley View St., Garden Grove, 92845. Advance appointments scheduled every 20 minutes can be made by calling Alexis Denny, 714-885-2312. Driving specialists, educators, health care professionals and traffic safety specialists will provide the CarFits.

The Senior Driving Day also will include demos of the new AAASeniors.com web site, a new senior safety and mobility site for seniors and their adult children, as well as demonstrations of AAA Roadwise Review, a computerized skill assessment tool. Nifty after Fifty’s driving simulator will be available and the Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center will be on site highlighting the best features for mature drivers.

“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 the Auto Club’s Community Relations and Traffic Safety Team Lead Anita Lorz. “Deaths and injuries of those 55 and over in traffic crashes in Garden Grove have increased 12% over the past decade,” said Lorz.

Lorz noted that age affects vision, flexibility, and strength, range of motion and even size and height. “Unless seniors make adjustments, those changes may make older drivers less comfortable and reduce control behind the wheel. CarFit gives older adults the tools to help them stay on the road safely,” Lorz added.

CarFit was developed by the American Society on Aging in partnership with AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association.

The number of seniors in California is growing rapidly and the state has more adults over age 65 than any other. “By 2030 there will be more than 30 million older drivers on U.S. roads,” said Lorz.

California has no upper driving age limit and state law prohibits the Department of Motor Vehicles from using age alone to require a behind-the-wheel test at renewal. However, motorists 70 or older must renew their license in person rather than through the mail.