Law Offices of Paul K. Schrier, PLLC

New auto safety features are a hit with drivers over 65

In a recent survey of drivers over the age of 65 it was found that while many may not be comfortable with the idea of autonomous driving vehicles, most were excited about additional auto safety features that help to make driving safer and easier. The National Highway Safety Administration has noted that this age group will account for more than 40 million drivers by the year 2020, so the ability to adopt increasing technology and automotive changes will be essential. 

When it came to features drivers over 65 were more likely to pay an additional cost for, it was primarily safety features. 44 percent of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay more for their new vehicle if the technology helped make the car safer to drive. While automotive advances and technological safety features are contributing to the reduction of automobile accidents in all age categories of drivers, older drivers face more challenges when it comes to driving more, compared to their younger counterparts.

Why driving can be difficult for older drivers

The primary reasons that driving can be more difficult for drivers who are 65 and over is mainly due to physical changes that can occur as we age. Older drivers are more likely to:

Have vision issues: As you age, you are more likely to suffer from vision-related problems that can cause difficulty in seeing road signs. Additionally, as vision decreases, you may also experience more difficulty with night vision or more visual disturbance from glares.

Suffer from stiff joints and muscle problems: After years of physical activity, joints can begin to become painful or stiff. This often results in older drivers suffering pain and numbness in their lower extremities when sitting for prolonged periods behind the wheel.

Have decreased hearing: This can reduce your ability to hear sirens or other warning sounds such as horns while driving.

Have a reduced reaction time: A combination of stiff joints, sore muscles, and slower reflexes can lead to a more delayed response time. To combat this, be sure to leave space between your vehicle and the car in front of you and try braking earlier when coming to a stop sign or light.

What safety features can help make driving easier for older drivers?

While many of the new vehicle features can help make driving safer, below are some safety features that be particularly helpful to drivers over 65.

  • Backup Cameras: With backup cameras, you will not be as dependent on mirrors and will not have to twist in an uncomfortable position that may cause more muscle pain.
  • Automated Braking: To combat the disadvantage of delayed reaction time, you can option for automated braking to help prevent fender benders.
  • Blind Spot Detectors: Blind spot detectors can help drivers that may have difficulty turning or may suffer from peripheral vision limitations.  It is also a great safety option to help reduce the amount of information you have to process while driving.

What are the benefits of increased safety features for older drivers?

While a reduction in accidents is the number one benefit of increased safety features, there are other advantages that can specifically help drivers over 65.

  • Independence: The greatest benefit safety features can offer is giving drivers over 65 the ability to maintain their driving independence for longer.
  • Improved Safety: Not only will these features create a safer environment for the driver but will help with safety for other vehicles on the road.
  • More Driving Confidence: Having more safety features can make drivers more confident in their ability, knowing that some of the burdens are off of them and they will have less to focus on at one time.

Even with all of the safety features now available on new cars, accidents are still bound to happen.  If you have suffered injuries due to an automotive accident, seeking legal advice is important to ensure you get the settlement that you need to make yourself whole again.  Contact the experienced attorneys at the Schrier today for a consultation.

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