CarFit helps senior drivers stay safe on the road

From From SAFE COMMUNITIES OF WOOD COUNTY Seniors represent the fastest-growing segment of drivers, with current projections suggesting that a quarter of all drivers will be over the age of 65 by 2025. Although seniors have an overall crash rate comparable to that of 20- and 30-year-old drivers, they are the most fragile drivers on the road, resulting in a higher death rate per mile driven than any other group. Senior Driver Statistics Seniors aged 65 and over are more than twice as likely as younger drivers to be killed when involved in a crash.Last year of the 786 total drivers involved in fatal crashes in Ohio, nearly 150 drivers aged 66 or older died in crashes.In 2017 more than 8,000 senior drivers (aged 66 or older) were injured in crashes. These crashes also injured 2,200 senior passengers. In an effort to keep senior drivers driving as long as safely possible, Wood County Safe Communities Coalition will host one-on-one monthly CarFit checks for area senior drivers. CarFit was developed by the American Society on Aging in collaboration with AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association. It’s a community-based program that provides a quick, yet comprehensive 12-point check of how well you and your car work together. During the CarFit check-up, trained technicians will assess how well the senior driver’s car “fits” them. Technicians will check the steering wheel tilt/position, distance the driver sits from the steering wheel, line of sight above the steering wheel, position of driver to gas/brake pedal and help adjust mirror settings to eliminate blind spots. CarFit assessments can also identify senior related health problems and offer referrals for assistance. Recently AAA released the results on a research project about senior drivers, called the LongROAD study. The study found more than 70 percent of senior drivers had experienced health conditions that impact muscles and bones such as arthritis, hip/knee replacement and joint pains. Some seniors in the study reduced their driving due to these conditions. Safe Communities will provide one-on-one CarFit checks for mature drivers monthly at every Senior Center in Wood County as well as the local AAA office in Perrysburg. Following is the schedule for these events: Perrysburg Senior Center – 1st Wednesday of the month from 10 am to noonRossford Senior Center – 1st Wednesday of the month from 1 pm to 3 pmGrand Rapids Senior Center – 2nd Wednesday of the month from 10 am to noonBowling Green Senior Center – 2nd Wednesday of the month from 1 pm to 3 pmPemberville Senior Center – 3rd Wednesday of the month from 10 am to NoonWayne Senior Center – 3rd Wednesday of the month from 1 pm to 3 pmWalbridge Senior Center – 4th Tuesday of the month from 10 am to noonNorth Baltimore Senior Center – 4th Wednesday of the month from 10 am to noonPerrysburg AAA Car Care Center – 4th Thursday of the month from 10 am to noon Registration is required.  Call 419-372-9353 or email to reserve your spot today.  Space is limited to 5 persons.  Let’s strive for zero fatal crashes in 2019!

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