RAA free advice helps Barossa Valley drivers stay car fit

RAA helps Barossa senior residents keep mobile with their 'car fit' service to visit on October 17.
RAA helps Barossa senior residents keep mobile with their 'car fit' service to visit on October 17.

RAA brings its free ‘CarFit’ program – designed to keep mature South Australians mobile – to Tanunda on Wednesday, October 17.

The educational program, delivered in partnership with UniSA, provides advice and information to experienced drivers on how to adjust their vehicles correctly for their best driving position.

RAA education manager Belinda Maloney says senior drivers are often the safest, because they are more likely to wear a seatbelt and are less likely to speed, or drink and drive. However, said older drivers are also more likely to be killed in a crash due to fragility associated with ageing.

“Ageing can affect vision, flexibility, strength and range of motion, as well as size and height. All of these can have a direct impact on safety and comfort when driving,” Ms Maloney said.

RAA’s CarFit program aims to improve the safety, confidence and comfort of older drivers, so that they can continue to drive for as long as they are safe to do.

At a CarFit session, trained technicians run through a checklist recommending adjustments to the vehicle such as mirrors, seats, and headrests, to minimise blind spots and provide the best protection in a crash.

Each event features an occupational therapist who can provide advice on mobility aids to improve driver comfort, or help drivers with getting in and out of their vehicle.

“Many people do not have their mirrors set up correctly and this can reduce the visibility a driver has around the car.” 

Following simple tips, such as adjusting a mirror to reduce a blind spot, could have a huge impact on safety.

“We also find that many drivers are unaware that if they sit too close to a steering wheel, even one with an airbag, this significantly increases the risk of injury in a crash,’’ Ms Maloney said.

“The CarFit program is now in its eighth year and has made recommendations to over 840 South Australian drivers.

“Although CarFit has been developed for older drivers, drivers of any age are also welcome to attend.”

She further added that the community advice service is not an assessment of an individual’s driving ability.

Bookings are essential. To reserve a place at an event or seek further information contact Ms Maloney on 8202 4221 or email carfit@raa.com.au.CarFit.

Appointments last about 20 minutes are available between 10am-3pm at the oval, 130 Magnolia Road.