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CarFit Program To Help Senior Drivers Enjoy a Safe, Comfortable Ride

Saturday, May 24, 2014 • 3:00pm

MILLBURN, NJ -- Kean University’s Occupational Therapy Department will offer CarFit check-ups Wednesday, June 18, from 1 to 3 p.m. on the Nathan Weiss Graduate College Campus, 215 North Avenue, Hillside

CarFit is a national program that reviews how well senior drivers “fit” their cars for comfort, safety and mobility. The program is developed by AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association and is designed to give a quick, yet comprehensive check on how well an older driver and their vehicle work together.

Appointments are required to participate in the program. To schedule one, call (908) 737-5850.

“As we age, changes in our vision, flexibility, strength, range of motion and even size and height may make us less comfortable and reduce our control behind the wheel,” said Kean University assistant professor Claire Mulry. “CarFit provides older adults with the tools to understand and apply the safety features of their car.”

During the CarFit event, trained volunteers will complete a 12-point checklist with each driver. Among the items checked are:

·      Correct position of driver’s seat

·      Driver’s ability to easily reach pedals

·      Proper adjustment of mirrors

Occupational therapists are on hand also to provide a consultation, if needed,  to teach drivers how to maintain and improve aspects related to their driving health. The therapist can also provide information about local community resources on exercise, nutrition and other programs to help keep drivers safe on the road.

“It is critically important that mature drivers make safety a personal priority,” said Kean University assistant professor Jennifer Gardner. “Driving today is more difficult than ever because of increased traffic congestion, longer commute distances, new technology and faster speeds. Older drivers can take important measures to mitigate the stress associated with driving.”

Older drivers can also check with their local AAA club or AARP office to take a driver safety refresher course for older road users or look into occupational therapy driving evaluation programs for individualized assessments and recommendations. 

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