Student volunteers will help older drivers find a better, safer “fit” with their cars. The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS), a leading graduate institution that emphasizes health and rehabilitative sciences education through innovative classroom education, is hosting a CarFit event, in collaboration with the Council on Aging. The event will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Players Community Senior Center, located at 175 Landrum Lane in Ponte Verda, FL. The event aims to help senior drivers find a better “fit” with their cars for comfort and safety.
CarFit, a national program developed by AAA, AARP, and the American Occupational Therapy Association, is an educational program that offers older adults the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles “fit” them. The CarFit program also provides information and materials on community-specific resources that could enhance their safety as drivers, and/or increase their mobility in the community.
Kayla Collins, a faculty member in the university’s Master of Occupational Therapy program, will be launching a new course in the Spring, where students will be trained to be certified CarFit technicians.
“It is critically important that mature drivers make safety a personal priority,” said Collins. “CarFit’s crucial initiative is to keep seniors safe in the car; not to take away the keys. At the event, we will execute the CarFit 12- point checklist and our students will get first-hand experience using their occupational therapy education to help others.”
CarFit is designed to give a quick, yet comprehensive check on how well an older driver and their vehicle work together. At a CarFit event, trained volunteers complete a 12-point 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
Occupational therapists and student volunteers will be on hand to provide a consultation and to teach drivers how to maintain and improve aspects related to their driving health. They will also provide information to participants addressing individual needs, including information about local community resources on exercise, nutrition and other programs to help keep them safe on the road.
Important CarFit statistics:
- 37% of individuals using CarFit had at least one critical safety issue needing assistance
- 10% of individuals were seated too close to the steering wheel
- 20% did not have a line of sight of 3″ over the steering wheel
The majority of individuals who filled out the post-CarFit survey indicated that they made changes to improve the fit of their vehicle or were willing to discuss driver safety with a family member or healthcare provider.
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. CarFit represents an extension of those classroom programs, and an opportunity for older drivers to make sure their personal vehicles are a perfect safety fit.
For more information on USAHS, visit usa.edu.
About University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS)
The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) is a graduate institution that emphasizes health science education through innovative quality classroom and distance education. Founded in 1979, USAHS has locations in San Marcos, California; St. Augustine, Florida; Austin, California and Miami, Florida. USAHS offers degree programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, education and health science, as well as continuing education programs.
In 2015, USAHS completed a rigorous assessment by B Lab®, an independent non-profit organization that serves as a global movement of people using business as a force for good and became a Certified B Corporation®. USAHS is a member of the Laureate International Universities network, a global network of more than 70 campus-based and online universities with more than one million students in 25 countries, and one of the most significant global higher education providers for health sciences, and Laureate Education, Inc. is a Certified B Corp® – the largest corporation ever to become a B Corp™. For more information on USAHS, visit usa.edu. For more information about Laureate Education, Inc., visit www.laureate.net.