Posted: Friday, July 20th 2012 at 3:50pm
CarFit program helps older drivers in Gainesville
By Kelsey Bagwell Access Insider
GAINESVILLE - As the Baby Boomer generation rises in age, the importance of driving safety does, too. Officials with the CarFit program brought that message to older adults in Gainesville Friday afternoon.
CarFit, created by the American Society on Aging in collaboration with AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association, is designed to help older drivers find out how well they currently fit their personal vehicle.
The event was hosted by The Georgia Mountain Regional Commission at Lakewood Baptist Church on Thompson Bridge Road.
“We know older drivers are most likely to wear their seatbelts, but there are a number of other factors that can affect their safety. CarFit makes sure senior citizens who are still driving understand that there are things they can do to compensate for the fact that their reflexes are not as good as they used to be,” said Governor Nathan Deal, who made a special visit to his home county for Friday's CarFit event.
The program included “checks,” including mirror adjustment, foot position, and proximity to steering wheel.
Harris Blackwood, the director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, said “this is not about taking the keys from anybody. It’s not drivers’ training. It’s to make sure they’re using the tools that are available in their car as safely as they can.”
CarFit looks at a total of 12 key areas of driver safety. Since its inception in 2005, the program has met its goals of increasing safety among drivers, finding approximately 37% of drivers inspected had at least one critical safety issue that needed addressing.
According to figures from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, older drivers face a greater risk of injury and/or death in motor vehicle crashes than younger persons due to a greater susceptibility to injury due to existing medical conditions. Governor Deal said, “This is too precious a portion of our population not to make sure they’re secure as possible in their cars.”
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