Art of Aging: Making older drivers more tech savvy

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Art of Aging: Making older drivers more tech savvy. Tamala Edwards reports during Action News at noon on June 9, 2017. (WPVI)

These days, new cars are often loaded with technology. With that comes a new effort to make older drivers more tech savvy to keep them safe on the road.

Deb Chong bought a new hybrid, but she's still mastering how to drive it.

"The hardest thing for me to learn was how to break, it was very different from other cars that we've had," she said.

For help grasping all of her vehicle's gadgets, she signed up for a program called CarFit.

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"We have learned that a lot of people don't know how to use the devices that are meant to keep them safe in their car," said Kimberly Everett, Trauma Prevention Coordinator at St. Mary Medical Center.

The program takes drivers through a checklist, teaching older motorists everything from properly fitting their seat belt and adjusting their headrest to how to honk your horn and locate your headlights and high beams.

CarFit is a free program. It's a partnership between St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne and AAA Mid-Atlantic.

"We are not here to look at a person's ability to operate the vehicle, but we are here to really truly educate them," said Sara Weir, Mid Atlantic Foundation for Safety & Education.

"For instance, when I first started driving, we learned that you should hold your hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel, but now because of air bags we want our hands at 9 and 3 or even 8 and 4," said Everett.

Roberta Garvin took the class at the urging of her daughter-in-law

"It is just comforting to know when you get my age that you're doing things right and you feel safer," she said.

Cindy Nagle brought her mom to CarFit.

She's getting older and feels that driving is becoming an issue and she feels like she's not sitting properly and can't see and maneuver well," she said.

CarFit's main mission to reduce traffic accidents involving seniors by schooling them on those little adjustments that can make driving safer.

"I've been driving for a long time, and um, I can always learn something new," said Chong.

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healthart of agingdrivingauto experienceauto newsLanghorne Borough
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