Upcoming OKC CarFit event aims to keep senior citizens safe behind the wheel

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Senior citizen drivers have the opportunity to get their car checked so they can be safer on the road.

A free CarFit event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of First Southern Baptist Church, 6400 S. Sooner Road, in Oklahoma City.

Senior citizens are the fastest-growing segment of drivers in the nation, and current projections indicate that a quarter of all drivers will be over the age of 65 by 2025, according to an American Automobile Association Oklahoma news release.

“Yet, they are the most fragile drivers on the road, resulting in a higher death rate per mile driven than any other group,” the news release states.

AAA Oklahoma and Oklahoma County Sheriff TRIAD are hosting the CarFit event. TRIAD is a collaborate effort between the Sheriff’s Office, local police departments and senior citizens to reduce and prevent crimes against seniors, according to the Sheriff’s Office’s website.

CarFit technicians trained by AAA will be at the event, providing senior drivers “quick, yet comprehensive” 12-point checks on how well their respective car fits them.

Technicians will check the following:

  • Steering wheel tilt/position
  • Distance the driver sits from the steering wheel
  • Line of sight above the steering wheel
  • Position of driver to gas/brake pedal
  • Mirror settings to eliminate blind spots.

CarFit also provides valuable information to seniors that have difficulty with the following:

  • Reaching the shoulder harness and buckling/unbuckling the seat belt
  • Getting into and out of a vehicle easily
  • Turning their head to look over their shoulder while changing lanes
  • Sitting comfortably, without knee, back, hip, neck or shoulder stiffness or pain

Participants will also receive free tire, battery and windshield wiper inspections.

Statistics provided by AAA Oklahoma show that senior citizens aged 65 and older are more than twice as likely as younger drivers to be killed when involved in a crash.

Another statistic states that more than 8,000 senior drivers aged 66 and older were injured in crashes in 2017.

“These crashes also injured 2,200 senior passengers,” the news release states.

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