Senior drivers have a higher risk of dying in a car crash than younger drivers. Some inexpensive car accessories can help older drivers to drive more safely and prevent accidents but only 10% take advantage of them.
Drivers over 65-year-old often suffer from various health conditions that can affect driving. Reduced mental capacity and cognitive decline, arthritic hands, diminished vision, overweight, limited body motion or decreased leg strength are among the most common conditions affecting drivers over 65-year-old.
Diminished physical condition doesn’t automatically imply that someone should stop driving a car. Some cheap and easy to install accessories can make a difference and improve driving skills. For example:
- Drivers who have mobility difficulties and have trouble looking over their shoulders can install a convex mirror. For less than $10 drivers will avoid the risk of accidents related to blind spots
- Gas and brake pedal extenders are easy to install and can be adjusted to fit the car and the driver needs. They are very helpful for overweight people or for people suffering from leg cramps. They cost less than $100
- Seat cushions are of great help for those suffering from back pain
- For $10 a simple anti-slip steering wheel cover can make a real difference for someone suffering from arthritis in the hands
- Also for $10 a sunshade extendor can help in preventing glare and dazzle in those who have diminished vision
AAA is offering not only very practical online resources but also refresher courses and CarFit clinics. During the refresher courses, participants learn about specific driving challenges faced by older drivers and how to address them. The CarFit clinics are free and last just 20 minutes. The driver meets with a trained technician and an occupational therapist to find what is his or her ideal vehicle fit for maximum comfort and safety.