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[March 15, 2012]                                                  

SUNY Downstate CarFit Event to Help Seniors Enhance Driving Safety, April 22

Older drivers will have an opportunity to learn how to be safer in their automobiles when SUNY Downstate Medical Center holds a CarFit Event Sunday, April 22, 2012. CarFit is an educational program that helps older drivers to check how well their vehicles “fit” them. It also links older drivers with information on local community resources that may help them stay healthy and continue to drive for as long as safely possible. According to CarFit, helping “fit” an individual to his or her car “greatly increases not only the driver’s safety but also the safety of others.”

Older drivers are often the safest drivers in that they are more likely to wear their seatbelts, and less likely to speed. However, older drivers are more likely to be injured when a crash does occur due to the greater fragility of their aging bodies. Driver safety programs improve adult driver safety by addressing cognitive abilities and skills, but older drivers can also improve their safety by ensuring their cars are properly adjusted for them. A proper fit in one's car can greatly increase not only the driver's safety but also the safety of others.

Adjusting cars for seniors includes making sure they have a clear line of sight over the steering wheel and are sitting at a safe distance from the airbag, positioning mirrors to help eliminate blind spots, adjusting seatbelts for increased safety, and teaching seniors how to properly place their foot on the gas and brake pedals.  

The CarFit Event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the SUNY Downstate Parking Lot located at 324 Winthrop Street in Brooklyn between Nostrand and New York Avenues. Using a 12-point checklist, trained professionals, faculty, and student volunteers from the Occupational Therapy Program at SUNY Downstate’s College of Health Related Professions will work with each participant to ensure they fit their vehicle properly for maximum comfort and safety. The entire process will last approximately 20 minutes.

To make an appointment, or for further information, please email  DownstateCarFit@gmail.com or call 718-826-5046. Appointments should be made in advance.

CarFit is an educational program created by the American Society on the Aging and developed in collaboration with AAA, AARP, and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).    
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SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.
SUNY Downstate ranks ninth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools.  More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.
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