LMH offers CarFit driver’s safety program

Data has shown that many older drivers take great safety measures when it comes to driving. A survey from AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association reported that more than a third of older drivers have taken driver improvement courses. So could it be tied to something else?

LMH Health is sponsoring CarFit, a program that helps mature drivers find their safest fit. This is not a driving class, a test or a mechanical inspection, it’s a program that helps make sure you are comfortable in your car.

Healthy Living Series

Join LMH Health for its Healthy Living Series on Feb. 11 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the LMH Health Auditorium. Before the presentation, dinner will be served at 5:00 p.m. The cost is $5.50. After dinner, stay for the free presentation by Donald Hughes, public resource officer with Kansas Highway Patrol, about the CarFit program and how to keep seniors driving safer and longer.

For more information visit www.lmh.org/events.

Virginia Barnard, Community Outreach and Engagement Specialist at LMH Health, said that the motive behind this program is to make sure as your body physically changes that your car changes with you.

“I have seen my family members age and, because of their decreased vision and slower motor reflexes, it could affect their driving,” Barnard said. “This program has helped me learn how to be a safer driver. It gives people the opportunity to continue driving safely.”

The CarFit program targets people who are 65 and over, however people of any age can come and learn how to drive safer. There may be a feature to your car that you didn’t know was there or a simple adjustment that could be made.

“Some examples of things a CarFit technician would look at are your seatbelt fit, how far away you are from the wheel if the airbag were to deploy, mirror adjustments for best line of sight and so much more,” Barnard said. “We often make mirror adjustments and adjust gas and brake pedals so the driver can reach them.”

As we age, we have a general decrease in mobility in our bodies. The ability to look over our shoulder becomes limited, as does our ability to grab the seat belt and get in and out of the car. All of these things can lead to health problems and can affect the ability to drive the very best.

“Sometimes when we do the checks, we will see someone who could benefit from occupational therapy or who is seeking physical therapy,” Barnard said. “We can help connect people to therapy services and give people a referral if that is something they would like to pursue.”

The end goal is for everyone to be able to drive as safely as possible for as long as possible.

“This is a space for people to come, learn and see if they can be more comfortable in their car,” Barnard said. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help! We are here to help you drive as safe as you can.”

Jessica Brewer is the social media and digital communications specialist at LMH Health, which is a major sponsor of the Lawrence Journal-World’s health section.


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