CarFit – RAA’s introduction of a program to aid the ongoing safe mobility of older drivers
Keywords: Older Drivers/Users
Submission Date: 2011
CarFit – Introduction of a program to aid the ongoing mobility of older drivers. Wendy Bevan, Senior Manager Mobility and Safety, RAA Ben Haythorpe, Manager, Education Programs, RAA Personal mobility is critical to healthy aging. It assists people to remain in their own homes and to maintain quality of life by ensuring access to family, leisure and community. Unfortunately age related changes can make it uncomfortable, and sometimes unsafe, to drive. Carfit, a program which has been established in the US for a number of years, aims at ensuring that as they age older drivers have the safest and most comfortable ‘fit’ with their motor vehicle, including seat and mirror placement, steering wheel tilt and head restraint, seatbelt fit and ensuring a safe physical distance from vehicle safety features such as airbags. In partnership with Occupational Therapists from UniSA, the CarFit program provides advice and information to older drivers in a one-on-one session in their own vehicle. The RAA introduced this free 20 minute program for its members in March 2011 following a pilot in November 2010. This paper will outline the CarFit program in South Australia and will provide data on the findings of the program to date, including the number of drivers who were not using their vehicles in an optimal way and how many were exposed to real road safety risks.