Driving and the Older Adult.
In life there are “those” conversations none of us want to have: telling our kids about the “birds and the bees” or notifying an employee that perhaps the job just is not a good fit. As children and as parents perhaps the one conversation no one ever wants to have is: When is it time to put down the keys? However, maybe there is an alternative conversation to have before that:”Is there something I can do to prolong my driving days”?
Statistically older drivers are among the safest on the road; they use seat belts more often and are less likely to drive under the influence of alcohol or text and drive. Many participate in driver safety programs that address issues such as changes in cognitive and motor skills associated with aging. That being said when older drivers are involved in auto accidents their injuries are often more severe because they are physically more fragile.
We focus a significant amount of attention on the proper installation and use of car seats for babies but maybe overlook the fact that older drivers need to fit properly in their car seats as well! If a driver fits in their car better they are more likely to see the road better, be better prepared to respond to traffic conditions, thereby improving safety for the driver, passengers and others on the road.
“Car Fit” is an educational program created by the American Society on Aging in collaboration with American Automobile Association (AAA), American Occupational Therapy Association and AARP. The Car Fit volunteers show drivers adjustments and accommodations that might be made that allow the driver to fit better behind the wheel of their own car . Perhaps you are not able to sit as tall in the seat as you did 20 years ago or maybe you are not as flexible because you have hip or shoulder replacements. The “Car Fit” team can suggest modifications or adjustments that will enhance your driving skills and comfort while driving such as adjusting your mirrors or pedal extensions. They can also help with conversations about driver safety and community transportation options.
We all want to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible and there may come a time when driving is not in our best interest but in the meantime we can take every precaution to ensure our safety as well as the safety of others by ensuring that we fit properly in our vehicles.
For More Information Visit : http://www.car-fit.org/