With baby boomers aging, most traffic-safety experts once predicted that there would be numerous fatal traffic accidents involving older drivers, but this hasn’t been the case so far. In fact, older drivers are driving more safely than expected, according to The Washington Post. This could be due to the fact that they are more fit than previous generations of seniors.
However, because baby boomers continue to age, their involvement in serious car accidents could increase as they age into their late 70s and 80s. This is because coordination, reaction times, judgment, decision-making, eyesight, muscle strength, flexibility, and range of motion are all impacted with age. When these things start failing, it is important that older drivers turn in their car keys and rely on someone else or other forms of transportation in order to reduce their risks of being in crashes.
Until then, older drivers can continue to drive; however, they may be better protected in newer cars that are equipped with crash-avoidance technologies. Many cars built in the last several years have features that warn drivers of potential crash hazards and/or apply automatic brakes to help avoid collisions. Some crash avoidance technologies that could help elderly drivers, include:
- Front crash prevention systems. With this technology, radars, cameras, and other sensors are used to warn driver when their cars are getting too close to vehicles in front of them. If a driver doesn’t brake accordingly, the system will automatically apply the brakes to help reduce the risk of crashing.
- Lane departure warning systems. Cameras are used to track a car’s position within the lane, and a driver is warned audibly or visually if he or she is in danger of straying out of the lane. The system can use braking and steering adjustments to help guide the car back into the lane or prevent it from moving out of the lane.
- Blind spot detection systems. This technology uses sensors to monitor the side of the car for vehicles in its blind spots. If a driver attempts to change lanes, the system will sense another car is there and alert the driver if a vehicle is detected.
Technology such as the three listed above can help keep senior drivers and other motorists sharing the road with them as safe as possible. If you have an elderly loved one and are concerned about his or her safety on the road, you may want to discuss the possibility of getting a newer vehicle with better technology that could keep him safer and on the road longer. If you have found this blog helpful, please share this article with those you know on Facebook.