As part of its focus on keeping people safe, Emerson Hospital is hosting a free CarFit event to help older drivers discover how well they fit their own vehicle, highlight actions they can take to improve their fit, and promote driver safety. The CarFit event will be held on Saturday, October 31 from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. in the parking lot at the Center for Rehabilitative and Sports Therapies, Emerson Health Center, 310 Baker Avenue in Concord. Appointments are necessary.
Participants arrive in their own vehicles and are greeted by a trained professional who will assess the comfort, safety and fit of the driver and their vehicle using a 12-point checklist. Some of the areas that participants will be assessed on include properly adjusted mirrors to minimize blind spots; good foot positioning on the gas and brake pedals; and proximity to the steering wheel. Drivers run a risk of serious injury if they sit closer than ten inches to the wheel. Each session takes twenty minutes.
CarFit is an educational program created by the American Society on Aging and developed with AAA (American Automobile Association), AARP (American Association of Retired People) and the AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association). CarFit is not a driving evaluation and there is no pass/fail message.
In 2005 the CarFit program was tested in ten cities around the country with more than 300 older drivers participating. Of the participants, 37% had at least one safety issue that needed to be addressed and 10% were seated too close to the wheel. The majority of participants made a change to improve the fit of their vehicle, their use of safety features in their car, and/or their willingness to discuss their driving habits with family or healthcare providers.
For more information and to make an appointment for the CarFit event, please call Kristen Dixon Keilty, MS, OTR/L at the Center for Rehabilitative and Sports Therapies at 978-287-8244. When you call to make an appointment you will be given instructions about where to park your vehicle for the assessment. More information about CarFit is at www.car-fit.org.
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Emerson Hospital is a multi-site health system headquartered in Concord, Mass., with additional facilities in Sudbury, Groton and Westford. The 179-bed hospital provides advanced medical services to more than 300,000 individuals in 25 towns. To learn more, visit www.emersonhospital.org.