As part of Older Driver Safety Awareness Week some 45 students and faculty members from the Occupational Therapy program at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences joined a national effort in San Marcos to provide local seniors help to find a better “fit” with their cars for comfort and safety. They hosted CarFit at the San Marcos Senior Center, a free safety program designed to help older drivers and their families developed by AAA Insurance, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The volunteers gave North County seniors a 12-point comprehensive check on how well the driver and their vehicles work together.
Older Driver Safety Awareness Week aims to promote the importance of mobility and transportation to ensure that older adults remain active in the community—shopping, working or volunteering—with the confidence that transportation will not strand them at home. By 2030, there will be an estimated 58.9 million people age 65 and older. That’s 1 in 5 people. They’re expected to represent 1 in 4 licensed drivers at that time. Personal mobility is critical for healthy aging. However, as we age, our bodies change making it uncomfortable to “fit” in our vehicles and unsafe to drive. Additionally, although older drivers are the safest drivers, due to fragility, older drivers have the highest crash death rate per mile of everyone except teenagers.