Senior drivers who in their 80s are a growing segment of the Canadian driver population, according to the CBC, and seniors of all ages will feel safer and more comfortable when they choose vehicles that are senior-friendly. Older Canadians who want to buy new or used cars should look for certain things that will enhance their driving experiences, including easy-to-read controls on dashboards, general accessibility features, and ultra-modern voice controls (which make it easier to control vehicle systems with a disability or dexterity problem). Once seniors discover the best features, they’ll be able to shop for vehicles with confidence.
Dashboard controls should be simple to read and use
Some seniors don’t enjoy using touchscreens, and these digital screens are quite common in vehicles these days. Therefore, dashboard controls that don’t require a lot (or any) interaction with touchscreens are often practical choices. In general, dashboard controls should offer plenty of contrast so they’re easy to see, in addition to big fonts that make it easier for seniors to find what they need fast. To access a vehicle that has a truly intuitive and user-friendly dashboard, a senior should check out ratings that are based on other consumer’s experiences. Looking up reviews and ratings will help seniors to learn about the suitability of dashboards before they begin test-driving prospective vehicles.
General accessibility features will make life easier
Sometimes, it’s difficult for older Canadians to enter and exit vehicles. They may have trouble with certain movements that they need to make before getting into the driver or passenger seat. Any senior who has this type of issue should select a vehicle that has a lower ‘step-in’ height. Doors that open widely also make it simpler for seniors to get inside their vehicles. Most seniors find that sedans with low ground clearance are less accessible than vehicles with higher roof lines, seat heights and ground clearance, such as sport utility vehicles (SUVs). According to CAA. two-door models are generally preferable to four-door models, from an accessibility perspective.
Voice controls are so convenient and practical
When seniors with mobility/dexterity issues can control certain systems in their vehicles with their voices, it empowers them. They don’t need to struggle with physical movements in order to take care of tasks behind the wheel. So, seniors should look for speech recognition systems that make it easy for them to use GPS systems, access in-car infotainment, mobile phones, and environmental controls. Some vehicles feature thousands of voice commands, and technology is moving forward all the time.
Now that you know some features that will make it easier to enjoy a vehicle during your golden years, you’ll be primed to choose a ride that’s anything but a lemon. As the decades pass, people change, and vehicle choices should change a little, too. Luckily, there are vehicles with an impressive array of senior-friendly features.