Much progress has been made to the automobile over a century after it became more common the road. While accidents still happen, cars have never been safer to drive. Different technology has helped the automobile become safer for drivers through more advanced features like air bags, back-up cameras, and other devices that make driving easier on the road.
One group of people that can benefit from these advancements are seniors. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 45 million drivers who are above the age of 65 across the country as of 2018. With an increase in senior drivers comes an increased risk for accidents. Luckily, cars have changed to accommodate more senior drivers with different features that are meant to help their experience on the road while also making them safer than ever before.
Many seniors depend on their cars for daily errands and trips to run necessities like groceries or shopping trips. And since bad weather can often force people inside, it’s imperative that they are able to access the outside world even when more extreme conditions occur. This is where technology can come in handy.
One of the most popular technologies for senior drivers is GPS systems. It’s important that seniors are able to navigate their surroundings. Because of this, many cars come with GPS features in them already. However, there are plenty of devices that can be added to older vehicles in order to keep a senior safe.
Apple has CarPlay, a system that allows drivers to more easily and seamlessly connect their iPhones to their vehicle’s dashboard infotainment. There are services that will install Apple CarPlay to your or your elderly loved one’s vehicle. Through it, elderly drivers can access their smartphone’s navigation system without a problem.
This way, seniors can see where they’re going and follow their route.
Heated Steering Wheels
This is another feature for senior drivers who are concerned about bad weather. While many cars come with automatic windshield wipers, heated steering wheels provide relief for people with arthritis stiffness, and other joint discomfort. With this addition, they can be more comfortable controlling their vehicle, especially in worse weather. Some cars don’t have this feature, but there are heated steering wheel covers that can be installed onto a car’s existing steering wheel instead of replacing it entirely.
Rear Night Vision Camera
It’s more challenging for everyone to drive in the dark, but it is more difficult for seniors to navigate the roads at night. Most of them already experience worsening eyesight. The lack of lighting, therefore, can cause accidents. Luckily, technology has helped make night driving safer for everyone. Night vision cameras can be installed on a car’s back bumper and will help seniors feel more comfortable driving at night. It can also help them see what’s behind their car even when they are actively backing up.
Blind Spot Alert
Seniors who have mobility limitations can be assisted by blind spot alert, a technology that notifies drivers when there is a car in their blind spot. This equipment works with sensors that are located on the vehicle’s side mirrors to inform drivers if they need to merge lanes or turn.
Internet of Things (IOT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) can make driving better for seniors. It’s a system that connects anything with an on and off switch to the internet. This means that technology, no matter how small it is, can be connected through IoT hubs. For example, cars can have sensors installed into them that connect to their owner’s smart home hub. Then, seniors don’t have to worry about locking their doors from the car or turning on the lights when they get home. They can connect their cars to whatever lighting system is in their house, and it will turn on for them when they get there.
IoT-based road safety tech can improve driver behavior when on the road, and potentially prevent accidents by monitoring traffic activity. The cameras and sensors installed in vehicles could collect data and exchange information so that movements of people on the road are better coordinated. Much can still be done to improve the technology, but IoT promises to decrease the risk of crashes, especially for seniors.
Driving allow seniors to remain mobile and independent in their older years. Many people want to continue driving their own cars for as long as they can. However, even if they are careful drivers, accidents can still happen. A wrong move, because they are in pain or pain, orthey didn’t make the right decision quick enough, could lead to disasters. These tech will assist them so that they are always safe when they driver.