The San Juan College Occupational Therapy (OTA) Program will host an event to increase driver safety featuring the guidelines of CarFit, a nation-wide, educational program created by the American Society on Aging and developed in collaboration with AAA (American Automobile Association), AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association.
Drive-ins are welcome at the event but participants can call 505-566-3849 to reserve an appointment. CarFit is a program designed to help drivers find out how well they currently fit their personal vehicle, to highlight actions they can take to improve their fit, and to promote conversations about driver safety and community mobility. A proper fit in one’s personal vehicle can greatly increase not only the driver’s safety but also the safety of others.
Trained professionals will lead participants through a 20-minute, 12-point checklist with your vehicle and recommend vehicle adjustments and adaptations that could make your vehicle “fit” better and enhance your safety. Information on local resources will be provided. An occupational therapist will also be on site to provide information on adapting your vehicle to your driving profile. While the event has been traditionally aimed at older drivers, anyone is welcome to the event.
CarFit offers drivers the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles “fit” them. These evaluations are not on the driver’s capabilities or driving habits, they are simply on the safety and comfort of driving. The CarFit Program provides information and materials on community-specific resources that enhance driver safety and/or increase their mobility in the community. Drivers can improve their safety by ensuring their cars are properly adjusted for them.
“We thought the CarFit program was a great way for the OTA Program to get involved in the community and for students to get hands on experience with real-world problems,” OTA instructor Kelly Kelley said. “We aren’t here to critique people’s driving. We will only be looking at the set up and safety of their driving position and see if there are ways to improve it and make driving more comfortable.”
Participants should expect about a 20-minute process, starting with a checklist of points of review that will be conducted by the San Juan College OTA students. After that checklist is complete, OT faculty, who are also CarFit certified technicians, will analyze the participants driving positions and offer suggestions.
Most recommendations will include small changes such as cushions or possibly showing a participant how to properly adjust his or her car seats, mirrors and other car accessories. The CarFit technicians can also recommend parts such as key-bars or seat pivots to drivers and advise them on where to purchase the items.