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Amherst workshop to help seniors fit their cars


Published on August 29, 2017

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After a lifetime of driving, do you really know if your car fits?

CarFit, a program offered in the United States and now Canada, helps seniors adjust the comfort and safety of their vehicle and is coming to Amherst Sept. 22.

Offered through the Nova Scotia Health Authority, the program will see technicians guide seniors through a 12-point inspection to make sure they are operating their vehicle using the best practices.

“We help adjust seats for the proper line of sight and allow for proper airbag deployment; adjusting mirrors to reduce blind spots,” geriatric clinician and CarFit technician Beckey Langille said from her Truro office.

Little adjustments throughout the vehicle can make a world of difference, Langille said, and technicians will work with the client’s car as well as the client themselves to find the optimum driving experience.

“We look at the person. If they have arthritis in the neck it makes it difficult to check their blind spots. We give strategies for that,” she said.

CarFit does not assess a person’s ability to drive, Langille said.

CarFit was adopted in Canada by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and the Canadian Automobile Association in 2014, with its first offering taking place in Fredericton, N.B. With its roots in the United States, the aim of the program is for older drivers find out how well they currently fit their personal vehicle, to highlight actions they can take to improve their fit , and to promote conversations about driver safety and community mobility.

Participation in the Sept. 22 event at the Amherst Stadium requires pre-registration by calling 902-896-2609,

 

Fit tip for any age

Proper steering wheel placement and where you place your hands is something anyone, any age can adjust to improve safety.

There should be a minimum of 10-inches clearing between you and the steering wheel for proper air bag deployment, CarFit technician Beckey Langille says.
Hand placement is also not what it used to be anymore.

Langille says the old adage of placing your hands at the 10 and 2’o clock position is being replaced with 9 and 3 o’clock so your arms are not impacted by the air bag if it deploys.