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CarFit

CarFit
CarFit was developed by the American Society on Aging in collaboration with AARP, American Occupational Therapy Association, and AAA. Program events are designed to provide a quick but comprehensive check of how well you and your vehicle work together. A trained professional will ask you simple questions and complete a 12-point CarFit checklist. After visiting the trained volunteer professional, the driver will consult with an occupational therapist who, if needed, will discuss ways drivers can maintain and improve aspects related to their driving health. The entire process takes about 20 minutes. You leave with recommended car adjustments and adaptations, a list of resources in your area and a greater peace of mind.

Some of the discussion points during a CarFit event include:

  • Mirror adjustments. Properly adjusting the vehicle’s mirrors can greatly minimize blind spots for drivers when changing lanes.
  • Good foot positioning on the gas and brake pedals. Drivers who reach with their toes to press on the pedals can experience reduced reaction times and fatigue in their legs.
  • Position of the driver in relationship to the steering wheel. Drivers run a risk of serious injury if they are sitting closer than 10 inches to the steering wheel.

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 tools to understand and apply the safety features of their vehicles. Having a car that “fits” the older driver is key. While older drivers are often considered safer drivers because they're more likely to wear seatbelts and less likely to speed or drink and drive, they are more likely to be seriously injured in a crash because their bodies are more fragile. Older drivers can improve their safety by ensuring their cars are properly adjusted for them. A proper fit in one's car can greatly increase not only the driver's safety but also the safety of others.

The Office of Driver Services supports CarFit by providing trained technicians and assistance in hosting CarFit checkups throughout the state.  Check the CarFit website at www.car-fit.org for an event in your community, or contact the Office of Driver Services at 800-532-1121 or email
ods@dot.iowa.gov to schedule an event.