The AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association) established Older Driver Safety Awareness Week to spread awareness of how changes to physical, mental, and sensory abilities can affect your ability to drive safely.
It’s important to understand that Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, which is December 7-11, 2020 doesn’t only focus on the problem, but also provides solutions. New technologies are being developed every year to help senior citizens in California drive more safely despite physical or sensory changes.
Importance of Older Driver Safety in California
Things change as we age. Our eyesight worsens, we become more sensitive to light, and our hand-eye coordination decreases. These changes can affect our ability to drive safely.
Almost 18 percent of all traffic crashes in 2015 involved people ages 65 and older. Considering the senior citizen population is growing significantly every year, older driver safety has become even more important.
Technology Aiding Older Driver Safety
The following are a few technologies available in new cars that can help older drivers navigate the roads safely during the day and at night:
- Assistive parking – An assistive parking system helps drivers to park more effectively, reducing the risk of fender-benders.
- Lane departure warning – The lanes on roads can sometimes be difficult to see at night, which makes the lane departure warning system so useful. It warns drivers if their vehicle is swerving or leaving their lane.
- Reverse monitoring – Judging distances can become more difficult for an older driver, especially when it comes to checking the rear of the vehicle (which can be physically difficult, too). A reverse monitoring system helps drivers to back up safely and warns the driver if there are objects in the way.
- Smart headlights – Smart headlights automatically adjust the headlights’ intensity and range based on the distance of traffic. This makes it easier to drive at night.