Friday, 16 June 2017 03:50

Swift Current a good (CAR-FIT) for CAA’s next clinic

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Sometimes everyone needs a refresher and driving is no exception.

As part of a program to help more mature drivers stay sharp while driving, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) is hosting a completely voluntary CarFit Event in Swift Current on Monday, July 10 from 11 a.m. to  2 p.m. at the CAA Store parking lot located at 15 Dufferin Street West.
According to Lorna Gervais, program co-ordinator and CAA communications specialist, “CarFit is an educational program that helps mature drivers optimize their view, comfort and fit while in the driver’s seat. CAA Saskatchewan and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) with support from the Saskatchewan Society of Occupational Therapists (SSOT) is working together to deliver the program to participants in Saskatchewan communities.”
It is free, but by appointment only and older drivers are highly encouraged to book in advance.
It will be the first time this particular CAA event has been held in Swift Current. The appointment lasts about 20 minutes.
Gervais says the trained CarFit technicians go through a 12-point checklist to help ensure the mature drivers are perfectly set or “fit” with their vehicles. Gervais noted there are tips, strategies and improvements for those drivers to help provide for a clear line of sight; providing safe distances from the seatbelt to steering wheel and side and front mirrors.
“The technicians have a conversation with the drivers about everything,” notes Gervais.
She says the program has been held in Saskatoon Regina and Yorkton where it received favourable reviews. Comments indicated it was educational and a good refresher type of course.
“There was a lot of positive feedback,” explains Gervais. “They would tell us “we weren’t sure how to set the mirrors, seats, (etc); helped eliminate blindspots, had (peripheral) vision changes ... The technicians go through a checklist with them and they get to keep it. Everyone takes away different things from it.”
According to a press release, the program was initially developed by American Automobile Association (AAA), AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). CarFit is designed to give a quick, yet comprehensive check on how well an older driver and their vehicle work together.
The CarFit program recognizes older drivers are often the safest drivers. They are more likely to wear their seatbelts, and less likely to speed, plus less likely to drink and drive.
However, as drivers mature, age-related changes in vision, flexibility, strength, and range of motion can make drivers less comfortable and reduce their control behind the wheel.
CarFit provides education and tools to assist mature drivers in understanding and applying the built-in safety features of their car. Gervais says this is especially important for older drivers who have a new or newer vehicles and are used to all of the bells and whistles such a vehicle provides.
Since the program began, they have put through 82 drivers and there are 30 CarFit CAA or occupational therapists.
For the Swift Current event, all of those technicians on hand will be from the southwest.
Interested people can book an appointment, by contacting Gervais at 306-310-6222 ext. 0909 or emailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Ryan Dahlman

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