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Free safety checks available for older drivers

Free safety checks  available for older drivers
March 31
00:00 2014

Forsyth County AARP Chapter # 1797, along with the gerontology program at Winston-Salem State University, will sponsor a CarFit event on Tuesday, April 8 from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. at Senior Services, 2895 Shorefair Drive, to provide older drivers with free safety assessments.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than one in five drivers will be 65 or older by 2030. AARP predicts that an increase in traffic, larger vehicles and faster speed limits will create more stress for older drivers as they negotiate the changes and fast pace of getting from one destination to another. Changes in flexibility, range of motion, strength and vision that come with age can also be hinderances to older drivers.

Carfit was developed through collaboration among the American Society on Aging, AARP, the American Occupational Therapy Association and AAA (American Automobile Association) to help mature drivers find their perfect fit. The program is designed to provide a quick, yet thorough assessment to determine how well you and your vehicle work together.

Trained professionals will help drivers complete a 12-point CarFit checklist. The assessment will last approximately 20 minutes and will include assessing the steering wheel, airbag, seating, headrests, gas pedal, brake pedal, seat belt position and mirrors. Upon completion of the assessment, the driver will be given recommendations for adjustments/adaptations, and a list of community resources if needed, to make the necessary adjustments and put the driver at ease.

The assessment team will include WSSU faculty and students, and members of the Gerontology Club and Sigma Phi Omega Academic Honor and Professional Society in Gerontology. Carl Miller and Steve Danner are the co-chairpersons for the Carfit and other special projects for Forsyth AARP Chapter # 1797.

Drivers 50 and older are invited to reserve a space for an assessment by calling Leeanna Lee at 336-788-1621. The reservation deadline is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1.

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