Spring will be here before you know it and we all like thinking about getting a new car, even seniors.
Shopping for a vehicle for a mature driver is not always easy. I often wonder does the car fit the older driver.
In 2010, 34 million U.S. drivers were age 65 or older. Did you know that Baby boomers (1946 to 1964) are driving our economy? By 2020, their ranks are predicted to swell to 40 million, according to estimates from the American Automobile Association (AAA).
While many mature drivers are very healthy and fit, only a lucky few have completely escaped the toll that birthdays take. According to a 2012 AAA survey, nearly nine of 10 older drivers reported a health-related concern that can affect driving safety and comfort. These included diminished vision and issues with pain, balance and range of motion. For instance, those who have knee issues may be more comfortable with six-way-adjustable seats. Drivers with stiff fingers and arthritic hands can look for cars that offer keyless ignition and entry. If fine motor skills have declined, you may want to purchase a steering wheel cover to make the wheel thicker to ease the un-comfort ability.
Users can identify their health issue and then shop around for the appropriate car. For instance, as we age we all seem to become more vertically challenged or carrying a few extra pounds around the middle, I would suggest a, tilting and telescoping steering column and six-way-adjustable seats. “Because there is no one typical older driver, there is not one perfect car,” We should all pay attention to safety and comfort factors, such as how well the mirrors are adjusted and whether the driver is a safe distance — 10 inches or more — from the steering wheel.
Some remedies aren’t expensive. I remember one case in which an older driver was using a cushion to boost herself for better visibility, not realizing her car seat was adjustable and could do the job better. Nissan has this feature in many of its vehicles.
Nissan has many vehicles with zero gravity seating. These seats were inspired by space-age technology and help take pressure off the lower back and reduce fatigue, leading the way for longer outings and spontaneous road trips. We also have an abundance of safety features in our vehicles, blind spot warnings, lane departure warnings, rear view monitor, moving object detection. Plus Air bags of all kinds to help protect occupants. As well as LATCH System (lower Anchors and tethers for Children. Just to name a few.
Vehicles change a little ever year, and it’s always helpful to have someone in your community to help you with your car buying needs.
- Car Fit Offerings: Older drivers who aren’t in the market for a new car may want to take advantage of the Car Fit program, created by the American Society on Aging and developed in collaboration with the AAA, AARP and AOTA.(American Occupational Therapy)
- Smart Features: Older Drivers Using the AAA’s Smart Features for Older Drivers tool, people who are shopping for a new vehicle can match up any health-related conditions with a helpful ”smart” car feature, then find the vehicles that offer it.
Heidi Romano has over 17 years sales experience. Knowledgeable, passion and professionalism as well as patience are a perfect match for folks that are looking to have a hassle free car buying experience.