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7 Car Features to Help Older Drivers

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in Defensive Driving Online, Defensive Driving Tips, Helping You Drive Safely

senior-driving

According to AAA, “Nearly 90 percent of drivers age 65 or older have health conditions that can affect driving safety, yet only 10 percent are driving cars with features that address those conditions.” Additionally, a recent AAA survey indicates that “only one in 10 seniors is driving a vehicle that’s equipped with features that can not only make driving safer, but more comfortable.”

As the senior population continues to grow in our communities and on the road, it’s important that these drivers are armed with the best tools in order to drive safely, have less distraction and drive more comfortably. Below are seven important car features older drivers should look into when shopping for a new or used car.

Adjustable seats

Besides finding a car that is easy to get in and out of, it’s important that senior drivers have cars with seats that can be comfortable sitting in for long periods of time. New cars come equipped with multi-position adjustments that can accommodate any height and driving position. Especially for older drivers, it’s important to have a seat that gives support and posture while they drive, to alleviate back and leg pain. Additionally, new heat seat technology can alleviate joint and muscle pain while driving.

Keyless cars

Besides the added convenience, keyless cars can be easier on the hands of an older driver. Better yet, it eliminates pain or difficulty when turning the key into the ignition. If older drivers suffer from finger pain, stiffness, arthritis in the hands or has diminished fine motor skills, a keyless car might be perfect for them.

Backup cameras

Backup cameras are helpful for those drivers that have limited range of motion in their upper body or back/neck pain. Though drivers should still look behind when backing up, rear backup cameras can help increase the visibility of smaller objects behind the vehicle. Backup cameras can also help with parallel parking and help senior drivers see blind spots better.

Blind-spot warning systems

Along with backup cameras, older drivers should be armed with the latest tech when it comes to blind spots. These can help drivers better manager their blind spots when merging lanes and alert the driver when there is a car near by. Along with blind-spot warning systems, lane departure systems can help drivers better maintain their lane when there’s low visibility at night and avoid other traffic lanes. Again, the warning can help older drivers be more attentive while behind the wheel.

Thick steering wheels

Again, drivers that suffer from finger pain and stiffness should consider thick steering wheels that are easier to grip. Those in cold climates may benefits from heated steering wheels. Like car seats, steering wheels are now more advanced and older drivers should look for cars that have tilted or telescoping steering wheels that can be positioned to make the driver more comfortable while on the road. More importantly, it can alleviate neck and shoulder pain of the driver.

Digital dashboard

Newer models of cars no longer have small speedometers and tick marks, but are equipped with digital dashboards that display controls much clearer and are easier to read. But, at the same time, senior drivers should be wary of cars that have complex touchscreen menus and look for cars that help minimize those menu distractions that could be dangerous.  

Rain sensors

Lastly, another great feature is having rain sensors that automatically active the wipers when it starts to rain. That way, it ensures that drivers will always have a clear vision of the road and will be less distracted in trying to turn the wipers on and off.

All in all, these are important features that can help not only keep seniors safe, but more comfortable and confident on the road.

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