Top Vehicle Technologies for Aging Drivers

elderly-driverVehicle technology has been changing quickly in recent years. With newer features being added to all types of vehicles, it is important for drivers to learn how they work to increase their own safety. While it is useful to learn about all of the new technologies, it is especially important to learn the ones that promote safer driving and enhance driving abilities.

Researchers have been collecting data for more than a decade, and they have identified which technologies are the most beneficial options for mature drivers. To determine which ones were also the most favorable for this age group, they explored drivers’ confidence and comfort when using various technologies. The research included a review of new technologies by experts. These leading experts included researchers and practitioners with experience in kinesiology, geriatric medicine, occupational therapy and human factors.

Expert panels pinpointed ten top technologies that promote confidence, convenience and capacity for aging drivers. Smart headlights came in at the top of the list. Almost 25 percent of the drivers over the age of 50 who were surveyed said that they could not see very well at night. Some other top concerns noted in this age group included changing lanes while driving, music and phone distractions and merging onto the highway.

Top 10 Technologies
Researchers found several technologies that ranked high. These included the following:

– Emergency response systems, which provide immediate assistance in avoiding a crash and also allow emergency responders to find an accident scene faster.

– Smart headlights, which provide adjustable intensity and range of light based on how far or close oncoming traffic is.

– Blind spot warning systems, which warn drivers about any objects in their blind spots, and this is especially helpful while they are parking or changing lanes.

– Reverse monitoring systems, which warn people about objects that are behind them so they can back up safely.

– Vehicle stability control, which is useful for bringing a vehicle back into the right lane of travel automatically. This is especially helpful when drivers underestimate how much they should turn the wheel going around a curve or when they are driving in poor weather conditions.

– Lane departure warnings, which monitor a driver’s position to warn when the vehicle travels outside of the correct lane.

– Voice activated systems, which help drivers use features in their cars by voice commands.

– Crash mitigation systems, which sense when vehicles are in danger of colliding and can help minimize passenger injuries.

– Assistive parking systems, which help vehicles park by indicating object distances.

– Drowsy driver alerts, which monitor degrees to which drivers might be inattentive while on the road and alerts them.

Learning More About Vehicle Terminology
It is important to learn how to stay safe on the road. To better understand and use vehicle safety features, use the following tips:

– Match the above list with a personal owner’s manual to determine which safety features are available.

– When selecting a new car, work with a reputable dealer who is able to clearly explain the uses and benefits of various available technologies.

Drivers should also try to take steps to maintain their safe driving practices. It is important to have physical examinations, think about the side effects of any medications and have eye exams every year. Regular exercise is also helpful. Taking driver safety courses is beneficial, and it is also important to be aware of any personal physical changes that might be affecting driving skills.

About Brian Hendricks

Brian Hendricks is the President of Fidelity Insurance Group. Brian started Fidelity in 2003 with 0 clients. Today Fidelity Insurance Group is a Premier Independent Insurance Agency in Florida with over 3,000 families and businesses insured. Brian currently serves on advisory boards for 2 of the largest property insurance companies in Florida. Knowlege, Integrity, and Committment are his and his agency's guiding principles.
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