As we age, some things get harder to do—especially driving an automobile. As reaction times slow down, strength wanes, and eyesight dims, senior citizens could use a little extra help getting around. Fortunately, technology has caught up with an aging driving population, providing electronics and other helpers that make driving a safer, smoother experience. With that in mind, here’s a list of safety features every senior should have in their car.
Between finding one’s car keys, finding the starter, and turning the engine over, keys are more trouble than they’re worth. Arthritis, joint pain, stiffness, and coordination issues aren’t nearly as problematic with keyless cars that start up at the push of a button or a signal from one’s phone.
Backup Cameras and Warning Sensors
Turning one’s neck isn’t easy if you have back and neck pain or stiffness. Backup cameras offer drivers the ability to see what’s going on behind the car on a dashboard screen, giving them a heads-up to anyone or anything crossing behind it. Sensors are available that can add an extra level of security, recognizing a potential collision and announcing a warning to slow down or stop. In the future, some smart cars may be able to “communicate” with one another—for example, telling a tailgater to back off.
Bigger Displays on the Dashboard
When shopping for a new car, seniors should consider looking for vehicles that feature bigger displays for the speedometer and other pertinent information. Some vehicles even feature a head-up display that projects the car’s MPH on the windshield, allowing drivers to track their speed while keeping an eye on the road.
Navigation Systems and Apps
Some senior citizens may tend to get lost, prompting a fear of going out to unfamiliar locations and needing to ask for directions. With navigation systems and apps, they’ll receive a steady stream of helpful advice and information on getting where they want to go. Part of the charm is that there are a wide variety of voices to choose from, permitting seniors a chance to pick one with the right amount of clarity and empathy.
Adaptive/Autonomous Cruise Control
This feature works just like regular cruise control, but in this case, camera-, radar-, or laser-based sensors can adjust the speed of or even stop a car if its sensors detect a need to create a safer distance between cars. It’s not the same thing as a driverless car, of course, but it does help reduce the possibility of collisions or other accidents.
One of the last safety features every senior should have in their car is rain sensors. The sensors detect rainfall on the windshield and automatically activate the wipers, providing a clear and safe view.