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Seniors invited to attend CarFit program

COVINGTON -- The Newton County Sheriff's Office and the Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention Institute are asking older drivers how their car fits. Are the mirrors adjusted properly, are the pedals fully accessible or is the driver's seat positioned too close to the steering wheel?

Mature drivers can learn the answers to these and other driver safety questions by attending CarFit on Friday, June 22, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Turner Lake Recreation Complex at 6183 Turner Lake Road.

Sponsored by AAA, AARP, the American Society of Aging and the American Occupational Therapy Association, CarFit is a free educational service that helps mature drivers find their perfect fit, according to NCSO Deputy J. McCoy, program coordinator.

"Seniors can find out how the effects of aging change the way they fit in their vehicles and how that can affect their driving," McCoy said. "CarFit is designed to give senior drivers a quick, comprehensive check on correct safety belt positioning, distance from airbags and how well their vehicles suit their driving abilities."

The program will give seniors 12 key areas that need to checked to make sure they are driving safely. For example, learning how to adjust mirrors to minimize blind spots; good foot positioning, not stretching to reach with toes, on the gas and brake pedals is important; and making sure a driver is no closer than 10 inches to the steering wheel in case of airbag deployment.

In a recent survey of participants of the CarFit program, it was shown that 37 percent of them had at least one critical safety issue that needed correcting; one in 10 were seated too close to the steering wheel; 20 percent did not have a line of sight at least 3 inches over the steering wheel; and the vast majority of those participating in the program made the decision to improve the fit of their vehicle.

An informational class on CarFit and how it will help will be held at the Turner Lake Complex from 1-2 p.m. on Thursday. Or, for more information, contact Deputy J. McCoy at 678-625-1431 or email her at jmccoy@newtonsheriffga.org.