Key Points of This Article:
- Sometimes car accidents are caused by driver error, which includes vision impairment, failing to use signals or seatbelts and other issues related to driver comfort.
- The CarFit program sets standards for fitting each person to their car, which allows the proper use of vehicle safety features and promotes safer driving.
- Encourage safety on the road with a CarFit check for yourself and the mature drivers in your family.
Is Your Car the Right Fit for You?
Most people assume if they feel comfortable driving their vehicle, then they fit properly in the car. However, a driver safety program called CarFit is demonstrating many people are mismatched to their cars or aren’t using the available safety features appropriately.
CarFit, which is an educational program from AARP, AAA and AOTA (American Association of Retired Persons, American Automobile Association and American Occupational Therapy Association), involves going through a checklist of car settings for safety as you sit in the driver’s seat of your car. A technician takes measurements and develops a list of customized recommendations for you. Many people are surprised to discover there’s a lot of room for improvement in their personal car fit.
Safe Driving Includes Proper Use of Vehicle Safety Features
Drivers of any age should practice safe driving behavior every time they drive and this includes taking advantage of the numerous safety features of the vehicle they’re driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more mature drivers:
- are more likely to wear seatbelts
- are less likely to speed
- are less likely to drink and drive
- are often the safest drivers
However, older adults are also more likely to have fragile bodies that can suffer serious injury during a car accident. They also tend to face issues like vision problems and physical ailments that make it more challenging to control a car. This could be why the car crash fatality rate among people under age 65 is 12% and it rises to 18% for those over age 65.
Older Adults Need CarFit Most
Mature drivers should try the CarFit program and have their cars properly adjusted for them, which can improve their safety and the safety of others on the road.
For instance, many older adults suffer from a limited field of vision while driving a vehicle. They may have a curvature to their back or neck that makes it more difficult to see over the steering wheel and turn their heads to check blind spots.
Under CarFit recommendations, your eye level should be a full three inches above the steering wheel to allow you to see the entire driving environment around you. If a person doesn’t have a three-inch field of view, some easy fixes for this problem include seat and steering wheel adjustments that increase your eye level above the wheel.
Get a Customized CarFit Recommendation and Improve Your Safety
To take advantage of the CarFit program, call or email AARP directly or visit the online informational page at car-fit.org. An AARP representative will help you schedule a CarFit checkup at a nearby location or will recommend an upcoming CarFit event in your area.
At your CarFit checkup, a trained technician watches as you sit in your vehicle, put on your seatbelt and prepare yourself as if you were about to start the engine and drive your car. The technician asks questions and takes measurements.
For example, the technician will measure the distance between your seatbelt and the steering wheel, which should be at least 10 inches for driver safety. If this distance is any less than 10 inches, it’s more likely that the steering wheel and its airbag could impact your chest too strongly during an accident, damaging your ribcage.
During the CarFit checkup, you’ll receive tips about making the overall fit of your car safer. The entire process typically takes about 20 minutes and at the conclusion, you’ll receive a checklist of things you can do in the future to ensure every car you drive is always the right fit.
You Owe It to Yourself and Your Family to Promote Driver Safety
The AARP recommends CarFit to anyone who drives, especially those who are age 50 or older and anyone over age 65 is strongly encouraged to participate. Remember, someone can feel totally comfortable driving yet still have plenty of issues with the proper fit and safety of their vehicle.
You can help by encouraging the older drivers in your family to join you at a CarFit event and get a quick driving checkup. It’s a great way to promote safety on Florida’s roads. It could also save your life and the lives of others.
When Results Matter, Call Kemp, Ruge & Green of Tampa Bay
Regardless of the reason for your injury, if someone else caused it, the only way you can recover from your medical bills and other losses is through a personal injury claim. The attorneys at Kemp, Ruge & Green Law Group handle many areas of personal injury law including car accidents. We believe you should only have to work on getting well, while we worry about using the justice system to protect your rights. We give our clients with the best possible results-driven service. You pay us only if we win in injury cases. Call 877-941-4878 today for a free consultation.