The last time University of Miami junior Danay Delgado was in the passenger’s seat of her uncle’s car, she noticed that he was sitting uncomfortably close to his steering wheel.
The Delgados plan to attend a UM-hosted event this weekend that aims to correct bad driving habits that affect drivers older than 60 years old.
“When I heard about the CarFit program, I thought we could all benefit,” Danay said. “Anything to prevent an accident.”
Consisting of a 12-point checklist, the CarFit program makes sure that seniors fit well in their vehicle, make simple adjustments and will have an occupational therapist on site to recommend local services that could make drivers more comfortable.
“The great thing about it [the CarFit program] is that it is fast, free and fun,” said Fran Carlin-Rogers, a national CarFit instructor. “You don’t hear that about anything these days.”
The entire process takes 20 minutes. Seniors who are interested in participating are encouraged to make appointments to shorten their wait.
“We really want it to be clear that this program is all about making drivers safer,” said Noreen Frye, director of UM’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. “Our program is not about taking drivers off the road; it’s about keeping them on it longer.”
Frye is the link between the national program and UM. This is the first time that the university will host this type of event. Although it is advertised as an event for seniors, everyone is welcome.
“This is a quick thing that everyone could benefit from,” Collin-Rogers said.“Students could bring along their parents and grandparents, and we will definitely take a look at their [students’] habits, too.”
Miami has consistently been ranked among the worst cities to drive in, so much so, that the Travel Channel is launching a new reality TV series on the subject, called America’s Worst Driver, according to travelchannel.com.
“You’d be surprised how many things people could change to make themselves safer drivers,” said Frye. “With so many accidents on the road, every little bit helps.”
The event will be Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 1550 Brescia Ave. For more information on how you can participate, contact the University of Miami’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at 305-284-6554.