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Best Used Vehicles
For Older Drivers

Everyone gets older, and the side effects of old age can vary from person to person. However, that doesn’t mean drivers have to give up the wheel just because they are putting on the years. Just like how high-mileage vehicles of earlier model years can hold their own beside factory-fresh examples, so too can older drivers stay on the road safely.

Read on to learn about the best vehicles for older drivers, as well as features, tips, and tricks to make driving easier.

Challenges For Older Drivers

Here are some of the biggest challenges for older drivers:

health issues
entering and exiting vehicle
active safety feature car
ease of using the control interface
driver vision

Health Issues

As they get older, drivers can develop various health problems. They can get tired faster, making long trips or driving over uneven terrain much more unpleasant. If their vision deteriorates, they can struggle to notice or recognize road signals and warning signs. They may also have reduced reaction speed, which can make it difficult to respond to abrupt or dangerous situations immediately.

Entering and Exiting the Vehicle

Some health issues can make simple acts like opening the door, getting in or out of their vehicle, and shutting the door much more difficult. Low-slung vehicles (such as many modern cars) and vehicles with high ride heights of lift jobs (most SUVs and pickup trucks) are particularly hard to enter or exit.

Need for Active Safety Features

Besides features like airbags and seat belts, older drivers need more active safety options. They can’t react as fast as their younger counterparts, so automatic systems that can take over in an emergency are critical in keeping them safe. Warning systems must employ both visual and audible means to get the attention of a driver with poor eyesight or hearing.

Ease of Using the Control Interface

No one wants a complicated control interface that looks and feels like it belongs on a spaceship. Most older drivers prefer large buttons, knobs, and levels that are clearly labeled and easy to access. So it’s best to avoid digital controls that rely on touchscreens. Not only do they cost more, but they’re also more complex and difficult to use.

Driver Vision

Older drivers often have to deal with health issues like poor vision that make it hard to keep track of their surroundings, so they need vehicles with unrestricted fields of vision. Avoid models with large blind spots like small windows and poorly placed mirrors. Navigation and active safety features can compensate for poor driver visibility, but it’s far better to stay on the safe side.

Safe Driving for Seniors

Here are some tips and tricks for older drivers who want to keep driving throughout their golden years:

driving ability evaluation

Driving Ability Evaluation

Knowledge is half the battle. It’s best for older drivers to take a test that determines their current driving ability. Once they know their limits, they can take steps to remedy any issues.

For example, an older driver who becomes aware of their poor endurance can plan for a long trip. Possible options include taking frequent rest breaks or bringing a travel companion who can take over the wheel when they get tired.

senior defensive driving

Take Up Senior Defensive Driving Lessons

Many driving schools offer defensive driving courses with older people in mind. These programs teach senior citizens how they can compensate for their diminishing faculties and stay safe behind the steering wheel.

Conclusion

Don’t let increasing age get in the way of driving yourself or your loved ones to wherever you want or need to go. With the right choice of vehicle, knowledge, and preparation, older drivers can continue to enjoy the freedom of driving on their own.

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