October 11, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Drivers in the United States are growing older, and vehicle manufacturers are working hard to anticipate the needs of a new wave of elderly drivers.
In 2011, the people most likely to purchase a car were older adults between the ages of 55 and 64, according to a report by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Just a few years earlier, in 2007, the most likely car buyers were people age 35 to 44.
With many baby boomers planning to "age in place," the number of older drivers is expected to continue rising, particularly in areas with limited access to public transportation. As drivers grow older, vehicle safety technology will likely play an increasingly important role in preventing traffic accidents
and keeping elderly drivers safe behind the wheel.
Drivers over 50 weigh in on preferred safety features
A survey conducted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Hartford insurance company offered some insight into the types of features that older drivers say would help them feel safer on the road. Among drivers over 50, blind spot warning systems were ranked as the number one preferred new vehicle safety feature. Other features that rated among the top five in the survey include:
- Crash avoidance systems
that detect potential collisions and take action to help minimize injuries.
- Emergency response systems
that aid drivers in the event of a crash or medical emergency and help emergency personnel to reach the scene more quickly.
- Drowsy driver alerts
that monitor a driver's attentiveness and issue alerts if signs of drowsiness are detected.
- Reverse monitoring systems
that warn drivers of objects behind the vehicle and help them to back up safely.
Although many older drivers say they are interested in technologies that will help them drive more safely as they age, marketing these features can be tricky. As Joseph F. Coughlin, direct of the MIT AgeLab told Reuters, cars are seen as "a symbol of youthfulness, independence and freedom." Thus, he explained, a vehicle marketed as a car for elderly people is likely to be unpopular among buyers of all ages. Fortunately, many new safety technologies could be beneficial to young and old alike.
Safety tips for older drivers
Driving safely often becomes more difficult as people age due to normal changes such as decreased range of motion or diminished night vision. To help older drivers stay as safe as possible, the Mayo Clinic offers the following suggestions:
- Stay physically active
to maintain strength and flexibility.
- Get regular hearing and vision tests
, even if nothing seems wrong. Many problems can be corrected more easily if they are caught early.
- Work with your doctor to manage any medical conditions
that could impair your driving skills, such as seizures or diabetes.
- Be familiar with your medications
and learn about any potential side effects that could affect your ability to drive safely.
- Know your limits
and make adjustments as necessary.
- Plan your route in advance
to avoid reading a map or looking at directions while on the road.
In the event that a crash does occur and causes injury to you or a loved one, monetary compensation may be available to help replace your lost income and cover the costs of any medical and hospitalization costs resulting from the accident. Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area to learn more about your rights and legal options.
Article provided by Law Offices of Lee Arter
Visit us at www.lawyerlee.com