Safety features are important for anyone shopping for a new or pre-owned car. However, seniors often face additional health concerns, which means car safety features are even more critical. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or with a loved one, here are some features to look for to stay safe on the road.
How to Keep Seniors Safe on the Road
1. Blind Spot Sensors
Age-related vision changes such as glaucoma can cause diminishing peripheral vision. It’s difficult for any driver to detect when a vehicle is diagonally behind them, but these blind spots can be even wider for seniors. To help avoid this issue, sensors that light up in the side mirrors can alert senior drivers of other motorists in their blind spots.
2. Automatic Emergency Braking
Whether due to vision challenges or delayed response times, it’s possible for senior drivers to not brake soon enough to avoid collisions. Fortunately, automatic emergency braking (AEB) can help. This feature uses radar to detect when the vehicle is approaching another object and can trigger the brakes to stop automatically. Many pre-owned cars also have AEB, as it first appeared in 2009.
3. Lane Departure Warning
Age-related factors such as sleep apnea and certain medications can lead to drowsy driving in seniors. While anyone who feels tired should pull over, lane departure warnings are safeguards to help prevent accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel. These features alert drivers when their vehicle starts to drift out of its designated lane, typically using a sound signal and dashboard illumination.
4. Backup Cameras
Arthritis is common in older adults and causes stiffness and pain in the joints, including the neck. This can make it challenging for drivers to turn around sufficiently to see when backing up. Rearview cameras help ensure senior drivers have ample visibility to back out without straining their necks. In fact, Congress passed legislation requiring backup cameras in all new vehicles in 2018, so many pre-owned cars also offer this feature.
5. Adaptive Cruise Control
Adaptive cruise control uses automatic emergency braking and other technology to help drivers maintain a safe distance between themselves and other motorists. While it can brake to avoid collisions, it can also accelerate to keep up with traffic and potentially prevent a senior driver from becoming rear-ended should they come to an abrupt stop or slow suddenly.
No matter which vehicle features you’re looking for, Pat Kaiser’s Christiansen Motors Inc. can help you find the right fit in Audubon, IA. With an extensive inventory of new and pre-owned cars, this dealer has been serving local drivers for more than 45 years. See their selection of Buicks® and Chevrolets® online, or start your vehicle search by calling (712) 563-4241.
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