With more senior citizens driving the roads, safe practices and smarter cars can benefit us all. Advances in technology and the evolution of smart features in cars can help to make driving safer and more comfortable for many senior drivers.
Seats that allow for multi-position adjustments can best situate the driver at the right height and correct distance from the pedals while providing a comfortable position for extended periods of time. Definitely consider the individual seat warmers generally available in newer models. When you are sitting in a cold car to start your day, a little warmth from behind can go a long way to thaw you out.
For those suffering from arthritis, little things can make a difference. Bigger knobs and buttons are easier to manage, and a thicker steering wheel does not require you to close your hands quite so tightly to safely navigate. The same applies to the shifter, because bigger knobs are easier to use.
Since our eyes will tend to weaken with age, well-lit dials and easy-to-see controls on the dashboard are useful. Lighting can come in a variety of colors, so look for the one that works best for you. Visibility is a big concern no matter what your age. It’s a good idea to select larger windows that allow for unimpeded viewing in all directions. And tinted windows, while adding a bit of mystery for those looking in, also makes it more difficult to see, especially when driving at night.
There are a lot of other useful features for older drivers such as a small screen on the dash that allows you to see what is behind you as you back up. You might also be able to get a vehicle with warning alarms that beep when something is in your path and beep faster as you get closer. Automatic door openers and car starters are easier than a key you need to insert and turn.
However, try to avoid overdoing it on the special features. A dashboard cluttered with too much information can be as distracting as texting while you drive. You want your attention on the road and the cars around you, not a myriad of bright dashboard goodies.
Extracted from an article by Dave Bernard written for money.usnews.com