Modern automobiles are more technologically advanced than ever. This technology not only makes driving more comfortable and convenient, but also safer.
In a recent analysis of motor vehicle crashes, researchers from the International Road Safety Institute found that vehicles equipped with blind spot and lane departure warning systems were involved in 11% of side collisions and fewer frontal collisions than cars that were not equipped with such systems. Additionally, the IIHS estimates that the number of automobile accidents in the United States could be reduced by 85,000 each year if every vehicle were equipped with a lane departure warning system.
Driver assistance systems have made driving safer for millions of people around the world, but one demographic may need extra help adapting to modern vehicles, and may even need a little extra encouragement to use the technology that can keep them safe behind the wheel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that in 2018, the United States was home to 45 million licensed drivers age 65 and older. This represents a 60% increase since 2000.
Although older people’s perceived reluctance or inability to use modern technology is often overstated, some aging drivers may need a little extra help when trying to learn how to use assistive technologies in their vehicles.
• Learn the technology yourself. Not all assistive technologies are the same. Car manufacturers have their own systems and there can be a learning curve when adapting to a new one. If you aspire to teach an older person how to use assistive technologies in their vehicle, learn the technology yourself first. If you and your aging friend or family member both own a Subaru, chances are you already know how to use the technology in your loved one’s vehicle. If you drive cars made by different manufacturers, go to the dealership where your loved one bought their car and ask for a quick tutorial on all of the vehicle’s safety features. The seller demonstrates these features every day, so it shouldn’t take them long to show you the ropes.
• Be patient. Everyone adapts to new technology at their own pace. It’s important to remain patient when teaching aging drivers how to use technology in their vehicles. Old habits die hard, and while some drivers may adapt quickly to technologies such as rear-view cameras, others may not be so quick to abandon the driving techniques they use in safety. safety for decades. Stay the course, be patient, and let senior drivers adjust at their own pace.
• Teach one technology at a time. It can be overwhelming for drivers of all ages to adapt overnight to all the technology in their new vehicles. When teaching senior drivers how to use various driver assistance technologies, take one technology at a time. Coupled with your patience, this approach can help seniors avoid being overwhelmed and increases the likelihood that they will adopt technology in their vehicles.
Many senior drivers use driver assistance technologies on a daily basis. A patient and methodical approach to showing seniors how their vehicles can help them stay safe behind the wheel can be a roadmap for helping seniors adjust to life in modern vehicles.