University News

Western New England University to Offer Free CarFit Event on July 7

Published: July 02, 2022 | Categories: All News, Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Couple in car

The Western New England University Department of Occupational Therapy is pleased to present  CarFit on Thursday, July 7 from 1:00 -3:00 p.m. in the Blake Law Center Parking Lot. This is a free event and is open to the public.

“Research suggests that older drivers are among the safest drivers,” according to AAA. “They are more likely to wear their seatbelts, and less likely to speed or drink and drive. However, as people age, they are more likely to suffer serious injury or risk death in a crash due to greater fragility and aging bodies.”

CarFit is a community-based educational program created by AAA, AARP, and the American Occupational Therapy Association. A CarFit check is a quick and comprehensive 12-step check for all ages, but mostly for senior citizens, to adjust their vehicle for their driving needs. “With age, comes physical changes such as arthritis and decreased vision. These changes can make safe driving especially challenging for seniors. That’s why at AAA we are committed to educating seniors on how they can adjust and interact with their vehicle in ways that optimize comfort and safety.”

With one-on-one attention, CarFit technicians can quickly and gently identify a driver’s fit behind the wheel and explain adjustments that will give them a better and safer fit with their vehicle. Technicians make sure mirrors are adjusted right, seatbelts are over chest and shoulders, and head restraints are properly positioned in cases of collisions, and more.

The American Occupational Therapy Association, the governing body for occupational therapy practitioners, notes: "Because occupational therapy focuses on enabling participation, we are the natural professionals to address driving and community mobility across the lifespan. As occupational therapy practitioners, we have the science-based knowledge to understand [different] conditions and life changes that can affect driving and driving risk.”

"We are excited not only to be able to train our students to become certified CarFit Technicians, but also to be able to provide this free service to the Springfield community," said Brittany Adams, Assistant Professor and Department Chair of OTD at Western New England. "Occupational therapists are committed to helping our clients living life to its fullest, and we recognize how invaluable driving is as an occupation. CarFit helps to ensure that drivers are safe on the roads while maintaining their independence as members of our community. We hope to see you on Thursday!"