New program aims to improve safety for older drivers
CarFit clinic helps seniors adjust their seats and mirrors so they can see the road better
A new program being launched in New Brunswick by the Canadian Automobile Association and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists is designed to help seniors feel more secure behind the wheel.
Occupational therapist Elin Schold-Davis started the CarFit program in the United States, and was in Fredericton on Wednesday as part of the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.
"It was created when we understood the frailty and fragility, the vulnerabilities of seniors in their vehicles and the potential to benefit from the safety features that are built into our newer cars," Schold-Davis said.
She says many people don't necessarily know how to adjust those safety features or understand how they work.
"So CarFit teaches people about person to vehicle fit."
CanFit is free and includes a 12 point check list that covers everything from mirror placement to seat adjustments.
Driver John Coates took part in the program and says it was a useful experience.
"Well I've learned that my seating is pretty good, according to their measurement," he said. "And what I've learned is that adjusting my side mirrors a little bit further out so the blind spot becomes less — actually it disappears."
Schold-Davis says she has seen the excitement that comes when drivers finally find the right adjustment for their own vehicle.
"Truly people are so much more comfortable when they find they can be at a spot where they can see a little bit better. They feel a bit more secure."
The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists plans to roll out the CarFit program across the country.