To better equip the "silver tsunami" for driving safety and comfort, AAA has updated its Smart Features for Older Drivers resource to address a broader range of health conditions and include new data on 2012 vehicle features. As a leading advocate for senior driver safety, AAA launched Smart Features for Older Drivers in partnership with the
"With 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, we know that families will be coping with these age-related driving safety issues for years to come," said AAA President & CEO RobertDarbelnet. "The good news is that specific 'smart features' on today's cars can help older drivers and their families deal with these conditions."
Smart Features addresses a wide variety of conditions that are commonly experienced with aging, including diminished vision, arthritic joints, hip and leg pain and limited upper-body range of motion."As a person ages, muscle strength, range of motion and vision tend to diminish and can affect driving ability," said Dr.
Because everyone ages differently, AAA recommends older drivers look for vehicles that address their specific needs and medical conditions. Some of the recommendations included in Smart Features for Older Drivers include:
- Drivers suffering from hip or leg pain, decreased leg strength or limited knee range of motion should look for vehicles with six-way adjustable power seats and seat heights that come between the driver's mid-thigh and lower buttocks. These features can make it easier for drivers to enter and exit a vehicle.
- Drivers with arthritic hands, painful or stiff fingers or diminished fine motor skills benefit from four-door models, thick steering wheels, keyless entry and ignition, power mirrors and seats and larger dashboard controls with buttons. These features reduce the amount of grip strength needed and reduce pain associated with turning or twisting motions.
- Drivers with diminished vision or problems with high-low contrast will find vehicles with auto-dimming mirrors, large audio and climate controls and displays with contrasting text helpful. These features can reduce blinding glare and make controls and displays easier to see.
Underscoring the critical need to improve older driver safety is new research by the