How technology can help older drivers

technology and health(BPT) – Technology is increasingly integrating with many aspects of our daily routines. From toothbrushes that beep when you are brushing too hard to thermostats that automatically adjust the temperature based on your behavior, advances in technology are getting personal in ways that are intended to help ease your experience.

New technology is finding its way into our cars too, with many new vehicles now equipped with technology that can help you on the road. AARP Driver Safety has information available on these modern technologies including research findings from a study conducted by The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence and the MIT AgeLab. The research outlines several of these modern technologies aimed at helping you stay safe and confident behind the wheel.

Sensors and alarms

Many of the latest advancements in technology enable your vehicle to talk to you and alert you to potential dangers. Drivers identified blind spot warning systems as their top pick, in the latest survey from The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence and the MIT AgeLab.

“Our research suggests that mature drivers value technology that assists with changing lanes and parking,” says Jodi Olshevski, gerontologist and executive director of The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence. “This is encouraging and consistent with our previous research in which mature drivers identified turning their head to see blind spots as a challenging aspect of driving.”

Drivers in the survey also identified crash mitigation systems as a top vehicle technology. This technology detects when the vehicle may be in danger of a collision and can help to minimize injuries to passengers.

Your vehicle shoulders the burden

Today’s vehicles are more successful at accomplishing a range of tasks on their own. Smart headlights adjust the range and intensity of light based on the distance of traffic. Vehicle stability control helps to automatically bring your vehicle back in the intended line of travel, particularly in situations where the driver underestimates the angle of a curve or experiences weather effects.

You’re never alone

The latest technology can’t prevent all accidents so it’s comforting to know that if you are in an accident, there is new technology out there aimed to offer assistance. Emergency response systems offer drivers quick assistance in case of a medical emergency or collision and notify emergency personnel quickly.

Education is your best resource

All of these technologies can provide some assistance and the most important thing you can do to make the best use of them is to continue your education.

“In addition to automobile technology, traffic laws and roadway design are continuously changing,” says Julie Lee, AARP Driver Safety vice president and national director. “Understanding these changes and learning how they impact your driving may bolster safety, comfort and improve confidence behind the wheel.”

An AARP Driver Safety course helps you learn about the latest technology options and traffic laws. You’ll learn new skills to improve your defensive driving techniques and enrolling in the course could help you get a multi-year discount on your insurance (check with your agent for details). You’ll find all these benefits in just one class, available in-person or online.