Seniors shopping for a new car can find a variety of smart features in today's vehicles that help prevent age-related health conditions from impacting driving, according to AAA, the motoring and leisure travel group.
Almost 90 percent of drivers 65 and older suffer from health conditions that affect driving safety, such as lack of flexibility and muscle strength, AAA said.
In a recent update to its "Smart Features for Older Drivers," the organization lists model year 2013 vehicle features that optimize safety and comfort for older drivers. AAA launched the project in 2008 with the University of Florida's Institute for Mobility, Activity and Participation.
"Although older Americans are healthier now more than ever before, the aging process can diminish a person's vision or limit range of motion that could impact their driving," AAA Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research Jake Nelson said in a press statement. "The good news is that AAA found that more than 200 vehicles have one or more smart features that can help the aging driver deal more effectively with these conditions."
Recommendations included in "Smart Features" include:
- Six-way adjustable seats, which make it easier to adjust seats and enter and exit the car. The feature is good for people with limited knee range of motion or hip or leg pain.
- Keyless entry and ignition, which reduces the amount of grip strength needed to get in and start the car. The feature is helpful for drivers with arthritic hands and stiff fingers.
- Thick steering wheel, which reduces pain associated with twisting and turning. This is helpful for drivers with diminished fine motor skills.
- Displays with contrasting text, which reduces blinding glare. The feature helps counteract diminished vision and problems with high-low contrast.
More details can be found at SeniorDriving.AAA.com.