Published on May 19, 2017

Genesis Hosts CarFit® Education Events

Genesis will offer a CarFit event on Wednesday, May 24 for experienced drivers.

CarFit® is a national educational program offering older adults the opportunity to evaluate how well their personal vehicles "fit" them.  Health professionals work with older drivers and review 12 key areas to ensure they "fit" their vehicle properly for maximum safety.

A CarFit® check takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

CarFit® is not a driving test or evaluation.

The event on Wednesday, May 24 will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the parking lot of the St. Ambrose University Health Sciences Building on the Genesis Medical Center, West Central Park hospital campus.

Additional CarFit® events are scheduled for June 22 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Open Door Church in Clinton and July 19 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the parking lot of the St. Ambrose University Health Sciences Building on the Genesis West Campus.

Older drivers are statistically among the safest drivers because they're more likely to wear their seatbelts and less likely to speed or drink and drive. However, they are also 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," said Gretchen Cluff, an occupational therapist at Genesis and a Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist.  "A proper fit in their car can greatly increase not only the driver's safety but also the safety of others.

"Once seniors arrive for their check, they will be asked basic information and then we will evaluate how they fit in their car. For example, are they sitting too close to the airbag?  Are their mirrors adjusted appropriately to maximize their view?  Is their seat in the best position to reach the brake and gas pedals?

"We can only make recommendations.  We can, however, provide the senior drivers with important information that could increase their driving safety."

Three examples underscore the importance of road safety to the CarFit® program:

  • Knowing how to properly adjust mirrors can greatly minimize blind spots for drivers when changing lanes.
  • Good foot positioning on the gas and brake pedals is important. Drivers who reach with their toes to press on the pedals can cause fatigue in their legs and slow reaction time.
  • Drivers run a risk of serious injury if they are sitting closer than 10 inches from the steering wheel.

CarFit® events have shown that more than one-third of seniors had at least one critical safety issue. One in 10 sat too close to the steering wheel, and 20 percent did not have a line of sight at least 3 inches over the steering wheel.

To reserve a time for an evaluation at a CarFit® event, call (563) 421-1480.

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