Everybody has felt that unpleasant surprise when a car comes zooming into view after being hidden in a blind spot. Older motorists are no different, and they see warning systems against this hazard as the top safety feature in newer cars, according to a new report by the MIT AgeLab and The Hartford Insurance Company. After surveying hundreds of drivers over age 50 who get behind the wheel at least three times a week, the study found that these “mature motorists” felt more confident with cars which have at least one of 10 advanced safety technologies.
Here are the top 10 safety features for older motorists (in order):
- Blind-spot warnings alert drivers when another vehicle is approaching unseen and also help with parking.
- Crash mitigation systems detect imminent collisions and can help reduce passenger injuries.
- Emergency response systems alert paramedics or other emergency personnel if there’s an accident.
- Drowsy driver alerts warn motorists when they nod off or otherwise become inattentive.
- Reverse monitoring systems help drivers (especially those with reduced flexibility) judge distances and back up safely by warning of objects behind the vehicle.
- Vehicle stability control reduces crashes by helping steer a car if it veers offline or has trouble navigating a curve.
- Lane departure warning alerts motorists when they drift from a lane.
- “Smart” headlights illuminate the road more effectively by responding to the direction the driver is steering and the vehicle’s speed.
- Voice-activated command systems allow motorists to use a car’s features without losing focus on the highway.
- Automated parking assist calculates the angles and steers the car into the space, reducing driver stress and increasing the number of potential parking spots.
How many of these safety features does your newer car have?