To a former bus driver for the Chicago Transit Authority, newer vehicles fitted with semi-autonomous technologies have the tendency of getting you too comfortable. Once you begin relying on these technologies to drive safely, the veteran 70-year-old driver said to a reporter, you’re more likely to be involved in a crash.
While this veteran driver believes that drivers should always push themselves to be alert, giving their best while behind the wheel, many others disagree, believing that auto safety technologies should be available abundantly.
But what happens when senior drivers are exposed to too many innovation while operating a vehicle?
According to many auto safety experts, the proliferation of automobile technology is confusing to everyone, but when it comes to seniors, many may end up feeling somewhat lost. In order to help the older generations drive safer while using the newer technologies, the National Safety Council has decided to launch a new website to help seniors have a better idea of how new car technologies work. With the “My Car Does What?,” seniors are able to use the group’s interactive guide to learn more about advanced safety features. To many who are just now learning about the many possibilities associated with these features, whether they are older drivers or not, this website may be exactly what they were looking for.
According to the Institute for Highway Safety, experts have estimated that by 2030, the number of drivers who are older than 70 will climb from 30.1 million to 53.7 million. Being technologically savvy may help this great number of drivers be safer while behind the wheel.
And as this trend is confirmed by industry insiders and safety experts, automakers begin to pay attention. Instead of ignoring this growing demographic, companies like General Motors are beginning to recruit individuals who are 60 or older to test their infotainment systems while Ford uses sensor suits to give engineers an idea of how certain physical limitations may affect the motorist’s driving capabilities. And from inside the Collaborative Safety Research Center at the Toyota Technical Center, researchers work on a series of different projects that focus on older drivers. Through their partnership with universities and other institutions, Toyota hopes to come up with solutions to those who aren’t as comfortable with using advanced technologies while behind the wheel.
If you’re curious to know more about how companies are working to help seniors be safer drivers, follow this link. For more on statistics associated with auto crashes involving elderly drivers, watch the video below.