"CarFit" helps senior drivers get equipped

(WEAU) - A new study released from the New England Journal of Medicine conducted in Canada shows a serious drop in crash injuries among senior drivers.

But if you’re a senior driver, how do you know you’re safe in your car?

As the baby boomer generation gets older, more people 65 and older will be driving.

A new program in Eau Claire called "CarFit" and it’s just like it sounds.

On Oct. 6th, senior drivers will get the opportunity to go through a 12 point checklist in the parking lot of Sacred Heart Hospital.

Getting into your car is one activity most people do daily.

"CarFit is a program was a program that was put together by AAA American Automobile Association and AARP and American Occupational Therapy Association," said Barb Haag, Occupational Therapist.

The 12 point check list is meant to give recommendations and provide education to seniors.

"The tilt of the headrest or the headrest adjustment might be too high or people don't know how to move it around,” said Lynn Weber, Occupational Therapist.

"In your case it should be all the way down, because then your most protected where your sitting there," said Weber.

"We also want to make sure the steering wheel is more tilted toward your chest. Try to tilt it down just a hair more to see if that will be better, but then you still need 2 inches from your steering wheel and your leg,” said Haag.

They'll even measure it to make sure your safe.

"So we just have you take in and hold it here and obviously your more than 10 inches, so that's good because if it’s too close it will deploy too quickly,” said Haag.

They even will check blind spots and how you touch the gas pedal.

There is even a way to grab the seatbelt easier and get out of the car if you have arthritis.

"If you didn't have that and older person can move really well there's nothing there really to hang onto," said Weber.

Barb and Lynn also say if you don't want to get out of the car, you don't have to. You can do the 12pt checklist from the driver seat.

When everyone's done they also get a goodie bag.

"It has a few giveaways and it has some safety information and maybe some adaptive information to make them more independent with their driving,” said Weber.

"We're looking forward to helping people stay safe on the road," said Haag.

Rain or shine, the event will be going on Oct. 6th from 9am – 12pm in the parking lot of Sacred Heart Hospital. The one that’s closest to Hardee’s.

Click here for more information: http://www.car-fit.org/

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