3 Automotive Technologies To Help Seniors Stay In The Driver's Seat Longer

25 October 2018
 Categories: , Blog


Driving is a complex activity that requires active and healthy cognitive and motor functions, along with substantial vision capabilities. Unfortunately, seniors often experience declines in these three areas, which hinders their driving ability. Year after year, auto manufacturers introduce technologies that can improve a senior's ability to stay behind the driver's seat longer.

Forward Collision Alert

Changes in vision can create issues with depth perception. Without proper depth perception, it is difficult for senior drivers to determine the distance between their vehicle and a vehicle in front of them. Fortunately, forward collision alert can provide detection and warning, thus reducing front-end collisions caused by depth-perception issues.

Forward collision alert, which can be found on many newer-model vehicles, alerts you when a front-end collision is imminent. A forward-facing camera detects the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, thus helping you stay alert. The technology works at speeds over 5mph and detects cars or trucks within 197 feet of the front of your vehicle.

OnStar Automatic Crash Response

Thanks to advancements in medical technologies, Americans are now living longer than ever before. However, older motorists face several safety issues. Fatal traffic accidents involving seniors 65 and older increased by 22 percent between 2012 and 2016. Fast response times to an accident can help save lies no matter your age, but it is not always possible to call for help.

Fortunately, the availability of technology like OnStar Automatic Crash Response can help save lives. New vehicles such as the 2018 Chevy Silverado 1500 come equipped with OnStar's technology. The system uses sensors to detect a crash, which then alerts a trained OnStar advisor. You are then connected to the advisor through your vehicle's audio system.

The advisor can call for help, ensuring faster response times. All advisors receive proper emergency and medical dispatch certifications. In other words, they can offer verbal medical assistance until help arrives. With technologies like OnStar, seniors have a chance of surviving more traffic accidents thanks to the availability of timely medical aid.

Safety Alert Seat

Another way to keep senior drivers behind the wheel longer is to reduce the likelihood of traffic accidents, thereby decreasing potential fatalities. A vehicle equipped with features like a safety alert seat has just the technology needed to reduce accidents. The technology works by alerting drivers to potential collisions or hazards.

The driver's seat pulses in the direction of the potential hazard. For instance, if a driver is in the process of backing up and they cannot see cross traffic coming from the left behind them, the seat will pulse on the left side. The pulse indicates that there is a potential hazard, which allows the driver to be more alert and avoid the possible collision.

This feature also works well with things like lane keep assist and lane departure warning, which warn you when you drift from your lane. Your seat will pulse on either the right or left, depending on which way you drift. The pulsing action alerts seniors so they can maintain safe driving in the proper lane and avoid unnecessary accidents.

Many seniors view driving as a form of independence. It is often difficult for seniors to give up that feeling of freedom. When a senior has to give up a form of autonomy, it can make them feel helpless, useless, and depressed.

Seniors often say they feel like a burden to others since they cannot take care of themselves as much as before. Fortunately, all of the technologies mentioned above can assist seniors in making sure they can remain behind the wheel longer. Contact a Chevy dealer or other dealership in your area for additional information.