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Are Seniors "Fit" for Safe Driving?
Contact: Sonja Gross
Phone: (806) 356-3256
Date: May 5, 2017

Amarillo, TX – Senior citizens are among the safest drivers on the road. They are more likely to wear seat belts and less likely to drink and drive. However, their increased fragility means they are also among the most vulnerable to serious injury and death in crashes. It is no secret that seniors make up a huge portion of the U.S. population. By 2030, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates there will be 58.9 million people age 65 and older. That translates to 1 in 5 people and, in some communities, 1 in 4 drivers. The challenge becomes keeping them safe on the road.

TxDOT, in partnership with AAA, AARP, and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), offers CarFit, a program that includes a 12-point checklist to assess the fit of a driver's car for safety settings. The program promotes conversations between senior drivers and their families about driving safety and helps seniors improve the “fit” of their vehicles.

A CarFit typically takes between 20 and 30 minutes and can help aging drivers with the comfort and safety settings in their car, including:

  • A clear line-of-sight over the steering wheel
  • Adequate space between the front air bag/steering wheel and the driver’s breastbone
  • Properly adjusted head restraints
  • Proper positioning on gas and brake pedals
  • Proper seat belt use and fit
  • Safe positioning of mirrors to minimize blind spots

On Tuesday, May 23, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., TxDOT will host a free CarFit event at the Amarillo Senior Citizens Association (ASCA) located at 1712 S. Tyler Street. Senior citizens interested in a car fitting at this event should schedule an appointment through the ASCA by calling (806) 374-5500.

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The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. Through collaboration and leadership, we deliver a safe, reliable, and integrated transportation system that enables the movement of people and goods.  Find out more at TxDOT.gov. "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.