TxDOT stresses importance of car checks before holiday travel

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - 44.2 million people are expected to travel this weekend. The first step to safety happens before you even shift your car into drive.

Texas Department of Transportation hosted an event called CarFit Safety in Wichita Falls on Friday.

The program helps mature drivers, about 50 years or older, find the safest fit in their car.

Traffic Safety Specialist, Tish Beaver, helped adjust steering wheels, seats, and seat belts for not only a more comfortable ride but a safer one.

She said it is important to make sure the steering wheel is not angled to high.

"The reason being is that this air bag is going to come out in excess of 200 miles per hour so you want to be sure that's hitting your body and not your face," Beaver said.

Brenda Thomas attended the CarFit event.

"I learned things about my car I didn't know. How to adjust the seat. How to adjust the seat belt," Thomas said.

Thomas said her seat belt was rubbing her neck. Seat belts are adjustable now. Beaver helped move the seat belt down to a more comfortable and a safer position if Thomas were to wreck.

"You want your bones to be what stops you from going forward. Not your soft tissue like your belly or your neck," Beaver said.

Beaver said there were about 40 million drivers over the age of 65 last year.

"We are all living longer, were all staying active longer, but we want those older drivers to be as safe as possible and drive absolutely as long as possible," Beaver said.

The CarFit check also included a proper seat check, a blinker and break light check and a tire inspection.

"What you want to do is watch for the tread. Tires are something that we don't think about until we have a problem so what we want to do is avoid that problem. So all you have to do is remember have a quarter," Beaver said.

If the tread doesn't make it to Washington's head in any location on your tire it is time to either rotate your tires or replace them.

"I do feel safe. I know that my steering wheel is at the level it should be and my steering wheel is hitting where it should be on my shoulder so I do feel safe," Thomas said.

Beaver also suggests everyone make sure they have taken care of recalls before you head out on a long road trip. You can check to see if your car has a recall by visiting https://www.recalls.gov/

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