National car safety event helps senior drivers on the Suncoast
MANATEE COUNTY - Each car rolled in with one goal, a clean car fit bill of health marked by a triumphant horn honk. The CarFit 12-point inspection program, hosted by State College of Florida's Manatee campus, is carefully designed to help senior drivers achieve a personalized car fit.
"It's basically a safety checklist specifically designed for older drivers. Our folks here today have been trained to go through a structured checklist with the drivers, we're looking basically at comfort and safety in their vehicles," said CarFit representative Fran Carlin-Rogers. The check–up itself takes around 20 minutes to complete. Graduating students from SCF's occupational physical therapy program diligently explained the process to each driver. They were also prepared with gadgets like a lazy Susan designed to help drivers swivel in and out of their seats, should the participant require one.
"We see lots and lots of issues. At CarFit we don't change anything in anybody's vehicle but we may make some safety recommendations and we do that with almost every driver that we see," said Carlin-Rogers.
The national program backed by companies like AARP and AAA is helping those on the Suncoast increase their mobility by giving older drivers confidence in knowing they are operating at maximum safety. Phyllis Marcum traveled from Gulfport to attend Sunday's fitting.
"I learned a couple of things that I didn't know before. So the experience is absolutely wonderful. So now I feel comfortable, very comfortable in driving this," said Marcum.
Carlin–Rogers says the program will return to the Suncoast again next year, but other options are available if you missed Sunday's drive through.
"We can make an arrangement for a trained volunteer to meet with them at their convenience and do CarFit right here in Bradenton," said Carlin-Rogers.
For more information, visit CarFit.