Oklahoma County senior drivers get car safety checkup

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Right now, there are more than 40 million drivers ages 65 and up in America. Many of them drive better than younger folks, but they are still highly vulnerable to fatal injuries in crashes.

Wednesday, the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office teamed up with some police departments from Midwest City and Valley Brook along with AAA Oklahoma to help local senior drivers. They're some of our most experienced drivers, but we could all use a little help from time to time.

Cpl. Kim Lopez Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office said it's not about the folks' ability to drive; it's more about how they're sitting when they get behind the wheel.

"Back in the day, the Florida Highway Patrol would notice senior adult drivers, and they called them 'knuckleheads' because they would drive like this," Lopez said. "They're still driving like this. So, they'd see them and go 'There goes another knucklehead' because all they could see is their knuckles and their head."

Lopez said with the way cars are designed now, sitting in the correct position is more vital than ever. So, they're teaching drivers to find the spot that fits just right.

Law enforcement agencies along with Triple A are teaming up to help the seniors learn how to use their lights, emergency brakes, mirrors, horns and more.

"It's a 12-point checklist, takes about 15 minutes to go through," Lopez said.

Through the checklist, they often find a variety of problems.

One woman's headrest had come right off her seat.

For others, it's just about making sure everything is just right before hitting the road.

"I don't know a lot about the car, and I want to make sure that I'm sitting right," said Jean Hutton, a participant. "It's helping me to drive, so I really enjoyed."

The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office's TRIAD unit has similar events coming up in Midwest City, Choctaw, Luther, Edmond and Bethany.

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