CarFit program helps senior citizens properly adjust cars for safest ride

CarFit program helps senior citizens properly adjust cars for safest ride
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 6:15 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2023 at 7:57 PM CST

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - On Tuesday, some East Texas senior citizens learned about the importance of making sure their cars fit them so they are safe when driving.

The CarFit program offers a twelve-point check by trained TxDOT technicians to ensure people’s cars are properly adjusted for them. This includes things like seat and steering wheel positions as well as mirrors.

Janet Hoelscher, the mature driver coordinator with the Brazos Valley Injury Prevention Coalition, led the presentation at the Green Street Recreation Center.

Hoelscher talked about distractions while driving -- including having pets in the car.

“Have you seen any with their heads sticking out the driver window sitting in the drivers lap? Do you think that’s a distraction? Because those little - they run across the seat and then they run back. It’s very muchly a distraction. So there are distractions all around.”

Hoelscher says that drivers are getting older.

From 2018 to 2020, data from the Crash Records Information System show the number of fatalities for Texas drivers 55 and over increased.

Longview resident Mary Hanley attended to educate herself on safety tips and to have her car fit.

“Lots of good tips,” says Hanley. “Lots of good questions - they made us think. And answered questions which was very informative - they didn’t just show a little video or say a few things and that was it. They were - it was interactive.”

Hanley says after going through the presentation, she is leaving feeling safer behind the wheel.

“One thing they talked about was ask yourself each day ‘am I - to be aware of how my body, my vision, my hearing, my - just whatever, am I fit to get behind the wheel of a car and drive today or what do I need to think about to be safe,’” says Hanley.

Another CarFit event is set to happen tomorrow at the Colonial Village in Longview from 10 to noon. The event is free and senior citizens do not need an appointment. Event organizers do warn there could be a be patient.