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CarFit events are 'perfect fit' for mature drivers
As we age, natural changes to our bodies and minds start to impact our performance at the wheel. But that doesn’t mean that medical conditions or mobility issues have to put the brakes on safe driving. AMA has partnered with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists to provide free CarFit clinics that help mature drivers and those with reduced mobility to fit safely and comfortably in their vehicles.
"CarFit takes an individualized approach to each individual and vehicle, teaching drivers to adjust their own vehicles to ensure they feel comfortable and confident behind the wheel." says AMA’s Aging Driver Program Coordinator Caroline Gee. "Those little details like adjustments to the steering wheel or seat cushion helps older drivers avoid collisions and reduce injuries."
Operated in partnership with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) and CAA, CarFit uses a 12-step process to adjust equipment like seats, belts, mirrors to find the perfect fit. It's all about educating drivers so they can adapt and stay flexible at the wheel.
“It is important to older adults to maintain their independence and community mobility and driving is a big part of that,” says Occupational Therapist, Tamalea Stone and CAOT’s Older Driver Initiative Coordinator and CarFit Instructor. “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. CarFit provides older adults with the information to understand and apply the safety features of their car which builds the kind of confidence and ability that can keep seniors in the driver’s seat longer.”
“We want AMA members to stay safely behind the wheel as long as possible” says Gee. “We've trained AMA Driver Education instructors to deliver the program, but a CarFit clinic with licensed Occupational Therapists really brings that professional perspective which can help identify some simple changes that makes driving not only safer, but much less stressful."
Along with our new Senior Driver In-Vehicle Evaluation, AMA is committed to offering Alberta seniors practical and affordable tools to stay confident and safe on the road. Whether it's your own safety at the wheel or you're concerned about a loved one, find great resources at SeniorsDriving.caa.ca.