Whether your reaction times have declined, you find it difficult to check your blind spot or your vision is increasingly impaired, help is on the way.
There are a host of new car safety technologies that are already available that make driving much safer and easier by reducing human error - the cause of over 90% of car accidents.
In general there are two types of car safety technologies, alerts and automated assistance. Alerts beep or vibrate to warn you of danger, like a potential collision or driving outside your lane. Automated assistance, which is more recent, is technology that actually allows the car to either take over braking, speed or steering in the event of danger.
Not only do these technologies have the potential to keep you safe, they can also keep other drivers and pedestrians safe as well - revolutionizing road safety for everyone.
New Warning & Alert Systems
Forward collision warning works by alerting you to a possible crash, either in the front or rear of the car. It does so by measuring the speed of the car in front of you, the speed of your car and the distance between both cars. There are three separate types of collision warning systems, forward, rear and pedestrian. Collision warning is highly recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Blind Spot Warning
The blind spot warning will notify you of a car in either your driver side or passenger side blind spot, when you're attempting to change lanes.
Lane Departure Warning
Lane departure warning will notify you when your car leaves its lane unintentionally. This is a highly recommended feature by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It prevents rollovers off the side of the road, veering into oncoming traffic and veering into cars on either side of you. This is especially good if you're prone to distraction, don't have great vision or get sleepy behind the wheel.
Rear Camera Warning
A great feature to prevent "back-over" accidents, hitting someone as you back-up. It's estimated that 1 in 4 car accidents happen when the car is in reverse. Rear camera's, and rear camera warning systems, are highly recommended. They're especially helpful to those with poor vision, slow reaction times, and for those who find it difficult to turn all the way around to look out the back window as they reverse.
New Driving Assist Technologies
Automatic Emergency Braking
As opposed to warning you of an impending crash, automatic emergency braking systems will actually brake the car for you. This is a great feature to protect you from a car slamming on its breaks in front of you. There are all types of emergency braking systems now, including forward, rear, city, high-speed and pedestrian automatic emergency braking. This is HIGHLY recommended and effective for seniors with slow reaction times. Watch this video of Adam Savage demonstrating how well Automatic Emergency Braking works.
Lane Keeping Assist
When your car detects that you're moving out of your lane inadvertently, it will take control of the steering wheel and move the car back into its lane. Imagine nodding off at the wheel and veering off the shoulder. Instead of a warning, which may or may not wake you up, depending on your hearing, Lane Keeping Assist will automatically take over your steering wheel and center you in your lane.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Adaptive cruise control will automatically adjust the speed of your car, to make sure you keep a safe distance from the car in front of you. Not only is this a safety feature, it also let's you relax a little more, which is the whole point of cruise control in the first place.
Adaptive headlights will automatically change the direction of your headlights when it senses an oncoming car. This is especially helpful to avoid blinding oncoming drivers as they come around turns or hills on the road - protecting them and you!
Other Driver Safety Tips
Here are a few other tips to help keep older drivers safe on the road:
1. Wear your seat belt at all times
2. Only drive when it's safe outside. Avoid snow, ice, rain and severe wind.
3. Avoid driving late at night when possible.
4. Never drink and drive.