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Kendal at Oberlin Blog

Keep Driving Safely with New Technology

Posted by Molly Kavanaugh on Aug 14, 2015 10:00:00 AM

cars-in-trafficDid you know you are a part of a segment of the population which is growing faster than any other segment in the United States? In fact, it is anticipated that by the year 2020 there will be 40 million drivers over the age of 65, according the AAA Mature Driver Fact Sheet.

Continuing to drive safely is important to older adults. New technology in vehicles has been, and continues to be, developed which enables drivers of all ages to drive safely and to feel more comfortable on the road.

Safety Features on Newer Cars

Increasingly, manufacturers of newer cars are using technology for added safety features on their vehicles. Because of this, drivers, including older adults, are able drive more safely with features such as blind spot sensors, back up cameras, and voice-activated dashboards, built into their vehicles.

  • Blind Spot Sensors. Blind spot sensors track drivers directly behind you or coming alongside and alert you of their presence. This feature is among the most popular of newer technology available in cars, says Edmunds.com. In fact, 89 percent of drivers feel they would benefit from having blind spot sensors on their cars, and 56 percent would be willing to pay an additional amount to have a blind spot detection system added to their vehicle.
  • Back Up Cameras. Another advance in technology becoming increasingly popular among drivers is the back up camera, which provide a clear view of what is directly behind the vehicle. Edmunds explains that features such as back up cameras can play an important role in preventing accidents. Because of this, 89 percent of drivers agreed they would like to have this feature on their next car, and 61 percent of drivers feel it is important enough to spend another $100 to $500 to have it added to their vehicle.
  • Voice-Activated Dashboards. Voice-activated dashboards, which are options on many new vehicles, enable drivers to speak navigational directions requests and use hands-free calling, allowing the driver to keep both hands safely on the wheel.

Adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, autonomous braking systems, right lane cameras, and front crash prevention are few more of the safety features available on many new cars.

What’s In Store for the Future of Automobiles?

Car manufacturers aren’t stopping with blind spot sensors and backup cameras. Recent technological advancement will play a role in the release of self-driving vehicles, says the New York Times. While there is still much work to be done before fully self-driving vehicles hit the road, there are cars anticipated in the immediate future which will help drivers navigate traffic jams or come to a stop at traffic signals.

Connected vehicles in the future are expected to alert drivers to dangerous road conditions and hazards, talk to traffic signals and toll booths, prevent accidents when changing lanes, and provide safety warnings (for instance, when traveling too closely behind another vehicle).

Whatever the future holds for the relationship of technology and the auto industry, older drivers can be encouraged to know these advances are enabling them to continue driving longer. By learning to use safety features such as back up cameras and blind spot sensors, older adults can continue to enjoy their independence through confident and safe driving.

ABCs of Lifelong Learning Opportunities

Topics: Active Lifestyle

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