Sunday, 1 October 2023
Supporting Driver Safety, Comfort & Independence.
As we get older, we increasingly value our independence and ability to continue to drive as aging effects our physical capabilities. CARFIT is an important element in maintaining that independence and ability to drive safely. CARFIT is an educational programme helping older drivers determine the optimal setup of their personal vehicle “fit”, ensuring they can operate their vehicle with safety, comfort, and confidence.
The programme started in 2006 and was designed by the American Society of Aging in conjunction with the American Automobile Association, and the American occupational therapists’ association. It has since spread world-wide.
It is no surprise then that, in Nelson, the course is promoted by Age Concern and managed by the Automobile Association. Rotarians, drawn from the Rotary Clubs of Nelson and from Nelson West, have been trained by the Nelson AA staff as volunteer technicians to help carry out the 12-point checks for the drivers and their vehicles. There are at least 3 public sessions held each year in the region, with the checks generally taking only 20-30 minutes for each driver and vehicle. An Occupational Therapist is often in attendance and provides additional advice to the clients.
The check list looks at each driver’s seat position and comfort, seatbelt comfort and fit, mirror and sight lines, steering wheel and head rest positions and other safety and comfort issues. Each driver has the opportunity to discuss the safety checks and they leave CarFit having learnt more about their car.
The Rotary club of Nelson has 4 trained technicians, who collectively contributed 35 hours and two from Nelson West Rotary to provide total tuition time of 49 hours over the last 12 months.
A series of workshops are held each year throughout the Nelson Tasman region with the most recent workshop held at Saxton Field on 15 September and the next to be held in Murchison on 7 November 2023.
For more information about this and other safety programmes available through Age Concern click on the following link https://www.ageconcernnt.org.nz/services/older-drivers.
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