To help older drivers to remain mobile, seniors in Poway can get “fit” to drive safely by the Automobile Club of Southern California and other senior services organizations in Poway during its upcoming CarFit® event at Jewish Family Service North County Inland Center. The educational program is designed to help seniors over 55 learn how the effects of aging change the way they fit in their vehicle and how their driving can be affected.
The free CarFit event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5, at Temple Adat Shalom’s center at 15905 Pomerado Road 92064. Required appointments can be made by calling the Auto Club’s Lora Babilo at 714-885-2312.
CarFit provides a quick check by occupational therapists, senior living specialists and traffic safety health educators on how well a senior driver and their vehicle work together in a customized “fit.”
At a CarFit event, trained volunteers complete a 12-point, 20-minute checklist with each driver. Among the items checked:
- Correct position of driver’s seat
- Driver’s ability to easily reach pedals
- Proper adjustment of mirrors
An occupational therapist who specializes in driver rehabilitation will offer advice on ways a driver can maintain and strengthen their driving health, including places to go for further evaluation regarding adaptive devices, exercise and nutrition.
The senior population in California is growing rapidly and the state has the most adults over age 65. “If 75 percent of seniors are licensed in 2025 that will equal 6.5 million licensed drivers,” said Anita Lorz Villagrana, the Auto Club’s community affairs and traffic safety manager.
“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. She noted that that age affects vision, flexibility, and strength, range of motion and even size and height. The Auto Club, and agencies it has trained, have provided customized car “fits” to more than 3,000 senior motorists throughout the Southland.
Community resources also will be provided, including information about the Auto’s Club’s new SeniorDriving.AAA.com web site. CarFit was developed by the American Society on Aging with AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Assoc.
California has no upper driving age limit and state law prohibits the Dept. of Motor Vehicles from using age 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.