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Study identifies 10 most helpful tools for older drivers

For many years, traffic safety advocates in Nashville and throughout the country have debated elderly drivers. The debate has centered on whether the driving privileges of older drivers should be revoked at any specific time, and who should be the ones to decide when that time has come.

Naturally, many elderly drivers resist efforts to take away their driver's licenses, feeling like the ability to drive their cars is one of their few remaining freedoms. Now, as motor vehicle safety technologies continue to improve, it is elderly drivers' cars that could help them to hold on to that freedom.

Recently, a study was conducted which identifies the 10 vehicle safety technologies that are the most beneficial for older drivers, defined as people over the age of 50. This is because, experts say, this is when some essential driving faculties begin to diminish.

In the study, a panel comprised of experts in geriatrics, occupational therapy, ergonomics and related fields independently examined 25 technologies that are now available in new motor vehicles. They identified the 10 that will provide the most assistance to older drivers.

Those top 10 are:

  • Crash mitigation systems
  • Blind spot warning systems
  • Lane departure warning systems
  • Vehicle stability control systems
  • Emergency response systems that offer help in the event of a car accident
  • Smart headlights that reduce glare and improve night vision
  • Drowsy driver alerts
  • Reverse monitoring systems that alert drivers of objects behind their vehicles
  • Voice command technology that allows drivers to keep their hands on the wheel
  • Parking assist systems

Although some of these tools are only currently available on luxury vehicle models, they will hopefully soon come standard on all new cars sold in the U.S.

Source: The New York Times, "For Older Drivers, Ranking the Help," Paul Stenquist, Sept. 19, 2012

At our Nashville law firm, we help people who are injured in accidents involving elderly drivers. To learn more, please visit our car accidents page.

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