Drivers older than 50 rank blind-spot warning systems No. 1 among new vehicle features to help them feel safe when driving, according to a new survey released by The Hartford and the MIT AgeLab.
The drivers were given a list of 10 technologies and asked to rank them according to how safe the systems would make them feel behind the wheel. Their rankings and what the technology systems do:
1. Blind spot warning systems warn drivers of objects in blind spots, especially while changing lanes and parking, and helps those with limited range of motion.
2. Crash mitigation systems detect when the vehicle may be in danger of a collision.
3. Emergency response systems offer quick assistance to drivers in the case of a medical emergency or collision.
4. Drowsy driver alerts monitor the degree to which a driver may be inattentive while on the road and helps alert drivers to the driving task.
5. Reverse monitoring systems warn of objects to the rear of the vehicle to help drivers judge distances and back up safely, and helps drivers with reduced flexibility.
6. Vehicle stability control helps to automatically bring the vehicle back in the intended line of travel, particularly in situations where the driver underestimates the angle of a curve or experiences weather effects.
7. Lane departure warning monitors the vehicle's position and warns the driver if the vehicle deviates outside the lane.
8. Smart headlights adjust the range and intensity of light based on the distance of traffic and to reduce glare and improve night vision.
9. Voice activated systems allow drivers to access features by voice command so they can keep focused on the road.
10. Assistive parking systems enable vehicles to park on their own or indicates distance to objects, reducing driver stress, making parking easier, and increasing the places that a driver can park.
The survey found that 51 percent of mature drivers said they would feel safer if their vehicle had all of the most up-to-date technologies. Those who had at least one of the features reported feeling more confident behind the wheel than those who didn't have any of them.