Being able to drive oneself has always been an important part of independence. Losing the ability to drive, whether it is a voluntary decision or a decision made by family or friends can have emotional and physical consequences. Studies have found that life-long drivers that have had to stop driving are nearly twice as likely to suffer from depression. It was also shown that people who had to give up driving where experiencing declines in productivity, cognitive ability and even their participation in daily activities that were away from home.
Automobile manufacturers have been listening, and are offering more features for senior drivers than ever before to keep these life long customers comfortable and safe. Here are some of the features that are available to make life easier for seniors:
Comfort and Safety Features
- Driver Visibility - Windows that give drivers the best view from the front, back and sides of the vehicles.
- Easy Vehicle Access - Designing the vehicle to reduce the need to bend down or climb into the car by making wider door openings, lowering door sills and bringing the height of the vehicle to an easier step-in option.
- Easy to Read Gauges and Controls - Making gauges that are easier to see and accurately read, and using visual cues on controls such as heating and cooling, that are easy to understand and help to make adjustments during driving quick and easy.
- Powerful Headlights - High performance headlights make night driving safer and easier for all drivers.
Safety Technology Features
- Forward-collision warning (FCW) - An alert is provided to the driver to warn of an impending collision with something in the driving path.
- Automatic emergency breaking (AEB) - If the driver does not react quickly enough to avoid a potential collision, the vehicle will start braking for you.
- Blind-spot warning (BSW) - Detection of a vehicle that is in a driver's blind-spot, along the side of the car, and providing an alert when it is not safe to merge or change lanes.
Taking all of these possible options into consideration, here are 5 vehicle recommendations from Consumer Reports for senior drivers:
- Subaru Forester - This vehicle features driver visibility, easy vehicle access and controls that are easy to use. It also offers all 3 safety technology features (FCW, AEB and BSW) as options on the vehicle.
- Subaru Outback - Compared to the Forester, this vehicle offers powerful headlights instead of the easy vehicle access. It also features driver visibility and easy to use controls. All 3 safety technology features (FCW, AEB and BSW) as available options.
- Toyota RAV4 - This vehicle comes standard with 2 safety technology features both FCW and AEB. BWS come as an available option. In addition it features easy vehicle access and powerful headlights.
- Nissan Rogue - All 3 safety technology features (FCW, AEB and BSW) come standard on this vehicle. It also contains easy vehicle access and easy to read gauges and controls.
- Kia Forte - Featuring driver visibility, easy to use controls and powerful headlights. This vehicles also offers all 3 safety technology features (FCW, AEB and BSW) as available options.
Depending on the features that you are looking for, there are a variety of vehicles that you can choose from to optimize driving for seniors.
At Caring Senior Service, our expert staff is comprised of extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and trusted professionals who take pride in helping your loved one manage their daily activities. Contact us today to learn more!