Smarter Cars for Aging Drivers
As my elders begin to age, they seem to have more discomfort when it comes to driving. I’ve always noticed a hesitation from my grandparents about going to the store because they “have to get into the car” (their words) to go anywhere. Driving shouldn’t be such a hassle.
A newer car just seems to make more sense for an older person. Simple features like keyless entries keep you from having to fumble with keys to open the trunk while holding bags of groceries and adjustable seats provide a lot more comfort and support to drivers.
I did some digging on AAA and discovered that about 90 percent of driver over 65 have some kind of condition that affect their safety and only 10 percent of these people actually have cars with features to help them with these conditions.
AAA actually recommends that auto makers add more features to help older drivers. They note that assisting with these physical challenges will make the roads safer for everyone and easier to navigate for older drivers.
They’re studies revealed things like only 1 in 10 seniors with health issues had cars with features like keyless entry or larger dash displays.
AAA Recommends These Features for Senior Drivers:
- 6-way adjustable seats that require less strength to adjust and make it easier to enter and exit the vehicle.
- Keyless entry and push button ignition.
- Thicker steering wheels.
- Dash units with contrasting text for reduced glare.
Personally, I see other needs in vehicles for aging drivers. I’ve always wanted to see a car with room for portable power devices in case of an emergency (dead battery, etc.) and my grandparents are alone (since they refuse to carry cell phones to call for help!).
I also think emergency buttons separate from the infotainment system would have a great benefit for aging drivers — senior drivers don’t want to navigate through menus to get help.
If you’re a senior driver looking for a new car, or a family member helping your elders shop, look for these features in addition to the latest driving safety features for the most comfortable and easy trips.