Impact and Rollover Standards Alone Don’t Make Safe Cars for Seniors
Safe cars for seniors also give consideration to things like diminished eyesight and other physical limitations. Consumer Reports combines reliability, safety, and senior-friendly features in their picks. Simple changes like a properly positioned mirror or the addition of pedal extenders often can make driving safer for seniors.
Consumer Reports has done a series, “Top 25 New Cars for Senior Drivers,” (http://bit.ly/2rWQvaH) that ranks car models on the features that are especially helpful to senior drivers. Among them are easy access in and out of the car for drivers with physical limitations; controls that are easy to read and operate; and powerful headlights to help those with vision problems.
Seniors Often Don’t Want to Give Up the Car Keys
Everyone wants to age at home, but surrendering the car keys often leaves seniors stranded and dependent on expensive cabs, erratic bus schedules, or the goodwill of others for rides. Giving up driving often is a major reason that seniors end up having to move from longtime homes. Keeping the car keys longer sometimes is a matter of picking the right car or adapting an existing car to better fit your needs.
Getting Help With the Safe Driving Issue
CarFit (http://bit.ly/29P8B3K), a program created by the American Society on Aging American Automobile Association, AARP, and the American Occupational Therapy Association, can help. CarFit provides a free 20-minute assessment of a person’s car to see how well it fits a driver and recommends changes to make the car safer and more comfortable.
The CR series includes stories about how Ford designers and engineers wear suits that simulate the effects of aging so they can sense the impact of things like limited flexibility and figure out how to better design cars to serve the needs of older drivers. Another piece addresses ways to keep driving skills sharp. NC State University’s Center for Universal Design featured Ford’s efforts to “drive a mile in an older person’s suit” in one of their case studies.
Consider taking a look at these resources, if this is an issue for you. You might also be able to help Mom or Pop make some good decisions about it.