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Key Factors Older Adults Should Consider When Choosing A Vehicle

Mar 12 2020

By Jess Walter

There are more than 44 million licensed drivers aged 65 and older in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The ability to drive yourself as you get older is vital as it allows you to maintain your independence long into your later years. However, driving yourself can be challenging and risky; as you age, factors such as slowed motor reflexes, impaired hearing, decreased vision and worsening health conditions can pose a problem behind the wheel. Aging can also lead to a reduction of strength, coordination and flexibility, which may impact your ability to control a vehicle comfortably. As such, older drivers should be more careful when making decisions relating to driving, starting with the type of vehicle you drive. 

Safety features 

Vehicle safety technology is always improving, and different vehicles have different safety features that can have a huge impact on the driving experience for older adults. When choosing a vehicle, you need to check Consumer Reports to know how different vehicles compare when it comes to safety ratings and the clever safety features that may be installed. For example, you can choose a vehicle with advanced safety systems like blind-spot warnings, pedestrian detection systems and forward collision warnings as opposed to one without these features. 

Size of the vehicle 

The size of the vehicle has an impact on its ease of access and drivability. Ease of access and good vision should be the main deciding factors when choosing the size of the vehicle. Older drivers often choose larger vehicles like SUVs and pickup trucks as they are easier to get in and out of and have the bonus of better visibility. It may be more glamorous to drive a sleek convertible, but it may end up causing you pain in your back or hips. 

Technology features

Vehicle manufacturers are always coming up with new technologies to make driving easier, more fun and more comfortable. Sensors that let you know when you are too close to other objects can help you avoid unnecessary scrapes, while reversing cameras can help you park in a tight space with ease. Labor-saving devices like electrically opening boots can also come in handy for those who, for one reason or another, may not be able to open the boot manually. Other tech features like heated seats can also make the driving experience more comfortable. Although we are not quite there yet, vehicle manufacturers like Tesla are working hard to make autonomous vehicles a reality: this could be a game-changer. 

A vehicle is one of the biggest purchases you can make, which is why it is critical to find the best one for you. As such, you need to do your due diligence to ensure that the vehicle you end up choosing not only keeps you safer on the roads but is also fun, comfortable and cost-effective to drive.