Long Beach Memorial Puts Drivers Back in The Driver’s Seat at Car Fit 2010

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At Car Fit 2010, Long Beach Memorial technicians asses the drivers’ ability to use car controls, their ability to reach the gas pedal and brakes, and adjust the steering wheel.

Elderly drivers are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2005, older individuals accounted for 7 percent of all injured in traffic collisions. Long Beach Memorial hosted Car Fit 2010, an educational event that offered older adults the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles “fit” them with a trained Car Fit technician. A Car Fit check takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. The check list focuses on 12 areas of observation from the elder’s ability to put on and remove his seat belt, checking for blind spots, reaching the gas and brake pedal to knowing how to use the controls. If problems were identified during a Car Fit check at the event, care team members educated drivers on available resources and knowledge that could enhance their safety as drivers, and increase their mobility in the community.

“Car Fit 2010 was an opportunity to raise awareness in our community on safe driving. The goal was to make sure everyone’s personal vehicle “fits” them and was performing as efficiently as possible,” says Adam Sanchez, Occupational Therapist, Outpatient Neurology Rehab, Long Beach Memorial. “The Car Fit program gives drivers the opportunity to meet with an occupational therapist that has been trained to assess driver coordination, strength, range of motion and cognitive skills.”

The “Car Fit” program provides drivers with vital information all year long including handouts for adaptive devices such as extended rearview mirrors, swivel seats and seat wedges. Drivers also are provided with resources for driving assessments and exercises to maintain their endurance, which is crucial for safe driving. For more information on “Car Fit” and other Senior Service events, or to obtain copies of “Car Fit” materials, call (562) 933-1650

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