Evaluation of CarFit
Criteria Compliance and Knowledge of Seat Adjustment
Improper fit in a vehicle will affect a driver’s ability to reach the steering wheel and pedals, view the roadway and instrument gauges, and allow vehicle safety features to protect the driver during a crash. CarFit® is a community outreach program to educate older drivers on proper “fit” within their personal vehicle. A subset of measurements from CarFit® were used to quantify the “fit” of 97 older drivers over 60 and 20 younger drivers, ages 30-39, in their personal vehicles. Binary, logistic regression was used to assess the likelihood of drivers meeting the CarFit® measurement criteria prior to and after CarFit® education. The results showed older drivers were five times more likely than younger drivers to meet the CarFit® criteria for line of sight above the steering wheel, suggesting that younger drivers would also benefit from CarFit® education. Binary, logistic regression was used to determine whether a subset of 33 older drivers selected a seating position that allowed them to operate the brake without fully extending their leg or reaching with their toes. Results showed 45% positioned themselves too far from the brake pedal, and therefore might benefit from additional education and/or equipment to better accommodate their “fit” (e.g., power adjustable pedals or pedal extenders). The findings of this study show that both age and stature were significant predictor variables to assess the likelihood of compliance with the CarFit® criteria. Restructuring the CarFit® checklist could assist CarFit® technicians with optimizing a driver’s “fit” in his/her own vehicle.