(POMONA, April 30, 2009) — Appointments are still available for the free senior driver "CarFit" event being held Friday, May 1 in Pomona by the Automobile Club of Southern California.
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.
The Auto Club and graduate occupational therapy students from Loma Linda University will conduct the one-on-one CarFit sessions with senior drivers from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, May 1, at Mt. San Antonio Gardens. Required appointments can be made by calling Andrea Tyck, wellness coordinator at Mt. San Antonio Gardens, 909-399-1297.
The program consists of 12-point, 15-minute checklist on the driver and the car, which includes a safety-belt adjustment, foot pedals, vision and mirrors and other aspects to ensure that senior drivers are “correctly fitted” to their vehicles.
CarFit provides information on ways a driver can maintain and strengthen their driving health. 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.
CarFit was developed by the American Society on Aging in partnership with AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Assoc.
“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.
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,” she said.
The number of seniors in California is growing rapidly and the state has more adults over age 65 than any other. “If 75 percent of seniors are licensed in 2025 that will equal 6.5 million licensed drivers,” said Lorz.California has no upper driving age limit and state law prohibits the Dept. 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.