Anyone is vulnerable in a car accident but senior citizens and children can be at an even greater risk of serious injury or death than others are. As people begin to live longer and stay healthier later in life, car manufacturers are looking at ways to specifically protect their senior customers. Let us take a look at what is being done to see if it has the potential to make an impact.
Vehicle Features That Help Protect Elderly Drivers
There are certain vehicle features that are actually great at protecting people of all ages – but specifically are helpful to older people. For example, side airbags that include head and torso protection have been shown to reduce fatal accidents by nearly 45% for passengers in the front seat who are 70 years or older. Consider that these airbags only increase protection for people between the ages of 13 and 49 by 30%.
Vehicle Features That Are Not Helping Seniors
Then there are certain technologies that are actually less helpful to seniors than others. For example, the seatbelts in older vehicles are less effective for older occupants than for others. However, the more modern seatbelts, which include pretensioners, load limiters, and other features, are about equally effective for all people of adult age. This is also the case for front airbags.
Technology to Prevent Accidents Protects Everyone
Of course, the technologies that exist specifically to reduce the chance of an accident can help people of any age. We find that front crash prevention systems, lane departure warnings, and blind-spot detection are particularly good in most studies. Then there is technology that works for everyone but especially well for seniors, such as rearview cameras and parking sensors, which can help older drivers prevent backing into vehicles.
Seniors Can Have a Harder Time with Overwhelming Technology
One of the issues with these technologies is that though they are designed to reduce crashes, they may actually cause them when non-tech-savvy seniors use them. Anything that requires the attention of a senior can result in cognitive overload or distracted driving, which can then cause an accident alone.
Drivers Are Split on How Helpful Various Technologies Are
Surveys have shown that owners of vehicles that include crash avoidance technologies are more likely to say that their systems helped them prevent a crash the younger they are, while older drivers say it is less helpful. That said, almost all drivers with advanced safety features on their vehicle said they would add it to a new vehicle if they purchased one.
No matter your age, if you are involved in a car accident you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. You can learn more about your options by contacting The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 and requesting a free consultation.