Older drivers can get fitted for cars
A free event will help evaluate the need for vehicle adjustments
To help reduce the risk of accidents among older drivers, the state Department of Health invites drivers aged 65 and up to a "CarFit" event Friday at Kapiolani Community College.
"We're offering this free service for the first time in Hawaii to help older drivers, age 65 and above, increase their safety while driving," said Eric Tash, manager of the Health Department's Injury Prevention Program.
The program is designed to give a quick, thorough check on how well senior drivers fit their vehicles. Age can affect vision, strength, flexibility, range of motion and even height, and a car's features may need to be adjusted accordingly.
"Unless seniors make adjustments, those changes may make older drivers less comfortable and reduce control behind the wheel," said Richard Velazquez, Hawaii regional manager for the American Automobile Association.
Drivers are encouraged to make individual appointments to go through a 15-minute, 12-point checklist at the event. The program runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and is open to the first 100 drivers with a valid driver's license.
The national CarFit program, sponsored by AAA, uses trained professionals to evaluate the "fit" of the driver to the vehicle. It assesses features such as safety belt use, head restraint setting, position of driver to air bags, mirror adjustment and line of sight, and operation of vehicle controls.
Surveys show that CarFit can enhance safety and comfort for mature drivers. Participants are also more willing to discuss their driving abilities with family and health care providers.
To schedule an appointment, contact Kari Benes at the Injury Prevention and Control Program at 586-5912 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.