Aaa Carfit Brochure

Aaa carfit brochure

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What Exactly Is CarFit? What Can You Do?
CarFit is an educational program Find out how the fit of your
that provides a quick, yet compre- vehicle affects your driving and
hensive review of how well you adjust your vehicle to your chang-
and your vehicle work together. The program, which was developed by ing needs. Doing this could make
a lifesaving difference

AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association, also
And take advantage of a CarFit
provides information and materials on community-specific resources that check to see how well you and
could enhance your driving safety and increase mobility. your vehicle work together. A
trained CarFit Technician will ask
you several simple questions
Recognizing the Need and complete a 12-point check-
list. The entire process takes
The number of older drivers is they’re more likely to suffer serious
about 20 minutes, and you leave
increasing. The U.S. Census Bureau injuries or risk death in crashes,
with recommended car adjust-
has determined that by 2030, there due to greater fragility

ments and adaptations, a list of
will be an estimated 58.9 million Personal mobility is critical
local resources in your area and
people age 65 and older—that’s 1 in for healthy aging, but ill-fitting
greater peace of mind. Please
5 people and, in some communities vehicles can make it uncomfort-
note, CarFit checks are not avail-
translates to 1 in 4 drivers. able and unsafe to drive. Today’s
able in all areas

Driving today is more difficult vehicles have many safety features
than ever, because of increased that offer enhanced restraint and
traffic congestion, longer commute protection, yet many drivers are
distances, new technology and unaware of those features or how
faster speeds. Research suggests to best use them. CarFit helps you
that older drivers are among the explore vehicle adjustment and We Change as We Age
safest drivers, because they are develop strategies to achieve your As we age, changes in vision, flexibility, strength, range of motion and height
more likely to wear seat belts and safest fit. may make us less comfortable and reduce our control behind the wheel

less likely to speed or drink and Older drivers may need to find ways to cope with physical changes that
drive. However, as people age, include:
♦ Reduced strength and physical endurance

♦ Visual impairments, including problems with depth perception, high-
Does Your Vehicle Fit? and low-contrast vision, night vision and delayed recovery from glare

Do you have a clear view out ♦ Reduced overall range of motion and flexibility

your vehicle’s windows? Can ♦ Stiff neck, limited head rotation or pain

you reach and manage all ♦ Effects of medications

controls and adjust the seat
and seat belt so they are Increasing exercise, improving nutrition and making sure you get regular
secure yet comfortable? eye exams and medical checkups may help. In addition, automakers are
Making adjustments can designing vehicles geared to the needs of older drivers. These newer models
help you benefit from provide features such as more precise seating adjustments, clearer dash-
vehicle safety features board displays, wider doors, easier seat controls, night vision technology and
by improving comfort, adjustable gas and brake pedals

control and confidence
behind the wheel

2 І CarFit CarFit І 3
Easy access to gas and brake pedals. You should be able to easily reach
the vehicle’s pedals without having to stretch, and you should be able to
completely depress the brake pedal. If a driver is straining to reach the
pedals, it can be tiring and cause leg muscle fatigue. You also should be
able to move your foot easily from the gas to the brake pedal

♦ A seat belt that holds you in the proper position and remains comfortable
as you drive. The proper way for an adult to wear a seat belt is for the
lap belt to fit low and tight across the hips and pelvis, not on the stomach
area that contains soft tissue. The shoulder belt should come over the
collar bone, away from the neck, and cross over the breastbone, fitting
snugly across the chest. The shoulder belt should never be behind the
back or under the arm

You also should be able to:
♦ Reach the shoulder belt and buckle and unbuckle the seat belt without

♦ Get into and out of your vehicle easily

♦ Sit comfortably, without knee, back, hip, neck or shoulder stiffness
or pain

Am I Comfortable and in Control Behind the Wheel?
♦ Turn your head to look over your shoulder when changing lanes
Checking to see that you and your vehicle fit well together can be as important and backing up. Many collisions related to lane-changing
to your safety as a mechanical checkup. A good fit means you have: are the result of the driver’s inability to check the
♦ A clear line of sight over the steering wheel. Your line of sight should be at vehicle’s blind spots adequately

least three inches above the top of the steering wheel

Physical changes, such as arthritis and
Plenty of room between your breastbone and the air bag in the steering decreased range of motion, can make
wheel. The distance should be at least 10 inches to allow adequate room vehicle safety especially challenging for
for the air bag to safely deploy. In an emergency, the bag quickly fills with older drivers. That’s why CarFit is
air and expands toward your chest like a large balloon. The device will committed to educating older
deploy and start to deflate in less than to the blink of an eye. It only stays drivers on how they can adjust
inflated for ¾ of a second and provides a cushion as it deflates. and interact with their vehicles
in ways that optimize comfort
A seat that fits you comfortably and safely. Each time you drive, you
and safety

should be able to adjust the seat for good visibility and easy access to
vehicle controls

A properly adjusted head restraint. In the event of a crash, especially a
rear-end collision, this can help prevent neck injuries like whiplash. When
adjusting the head restraint, you may want to ask a friend to help you grasp Position Your Mirrors to Minimize Blind Spots
the restraint and pull it up. The center of the restraint should be about three Many crashes involve merging and lane changing. Proper mirror use can
inches or less from the center of the back of your head, not against your give an older driver the side and rear vision that is required for safe driving,
neck. If it is too low, you could over-extend your neck and fail to properly greatly reduce blind spots and increase confidence on the road

support your head. Likewise, if the device is too high, it may not provide Before starting your vehicle, make the following adjustments while in the
the proper protection. driver’s seat

4 І CarFit CarFit І 5
awareness you have been accustomed to. Consider consulting an occupational
therapy practitioner in your area to see what services are recommended

Simple adaptive devices that do not require special training are:
♦ Seat belt extenders to reduce distance to reach or rotate (available from
vehicle manufacturer)

Visor extenders for added protection from sun or glare

♦ Steering wheel covers to ease grip or protect hands from extreme hot
or cold

Adaptive devices that may require an expert’s advice and training to use
♦ Larger, panoramic rearview and side-view mirrors to help extend
the view

♦ Pedal extenders to reposition gas and brake pedals within reach

♦ Leverage handles to assist in opening car doors

♦ Hand controls to move brake and gas controls from non-functioning
feet to hands

1. Adjust the interior rearview mirror so it shows as much of the rear ♦ Seat lifts to ease getting out of a car

window as possible. ♦ A device added to the steering wheel to aid in grabbing the wheel
and making turns easier or more
2. Place your head near the left window and adjust the left side-view

mirror so you can just see the side of your vehicle

♦ Chair lifts and carrying devices for
3. Position your head near the middle of the vehicle, above the center managing larger mobility devices,
console, and adjust the right side-view mirror so you can just see the such as wheelchairs or scooters

side of your vehicle. ♦ Seat and back support cushions
to relieve back pain or improve
line of sight

Now you should have a better view of approaching and passing vehicles

Cushions must be considered with
Minor mirror adjustments may be needed to ensure an ideal view

a degree of caution, as the added
It may take time to get used to this view. That’s why it is important padding can affect the fit of the seat
to practice looking at objects at the side and rear of your car before driv- belt, the view outside of your vehicle
ing with the new settings. In addition to using your side-view mirrors, you when using mirrors and contact with
should confirm the way is clear by looking over your shoulder. the gas and brake pedals

Adaptive Devices Can Help Before purchasing adaptive features, consult an occupational therapy
If you find that your vehicle is not a perfect fit, you probably don’t need to practitioner to explore your options. You also might want to consider a
replace it. A variety of adaptive features can be added to help compensate comprehensive driving evaluation by a driver rehabilitation specialist. Many
for physical changes or simply to make the vehicle fit you more comfortably occupational therapy practitioners are highly trained to evaluate and provide
and safely. solutions for drivers with physical and visual challenges or older drivers who
Some of these devices are simple and readily available. Other devices and use or need to transport mobility devices. These professionals can ensure you
adaptations require the expert advice of an occupational therapy driver reha- get the right equipment, have it properly installed and receive proper training
bilitation specialist who can help you continue driving with the control and before you take to the road

6 І CarFit CarFit І 7
Sharing a Drive to Protect Motorists
CarFit was developed by AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy
Association to improve driver safety and comfort behind the wheel. Contact your
local AAA club, AARP state office or an occupational therapy practitioner, or
visit, for more information on how to maintain and strengthen
your driving health

AAA is a not-for-profit organization serving more than 53 million members in
the United States and Canada. AAA has been a leading safety advocate for more
than a century
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to making
life better for people ages 50 and older
The American Occupational Therapy Association represents more than 140,000
occupational therapists, assistants and students nationwide. Occupational therapy
practitioners help people of all ages participate in daily activities, including driv-
ing, with independence and dignity
AAA Stock 2715
© AAA 2020
Printed in the U.S.A

4 ˜ CarFit CarFit ˜ 5 ˜ Easy access to gas and brake pedals. You should be able to easily reach the vehicle’s pedals without having to stretch, and you should be …

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