A new AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study shows that up to 90% of senior drivers do not make necessary vehicle adjustments that could enhance their own safety. These vehicle adaptations could help extend their time behind the wheel and improve safety overall. These vehicle adaptations include seat cushions, pedal extensions and steering wheel covers that can minimize a senior driver’s crash risk.
According to previous research, drivers aged 65 and above are more than twice as likely as their younger peers to be killed when operating a vehicle during a crash. Senior drivers are also the most vulnerable in a crash because of the devastating injuries they could incur. A study looked at 12 different vehicle adaptations available for the senior market and found that fewer than 9% of senior drivers had heard or had begun using any of these. These include hand controls, pedal extensions, and multi-faceted mirrors. Choosing the right features and using a trained technician to install them is critical for safety behind the wheel.
According to the same study, all of those senior drivers who did install a device indicated that they did not work with a trained professional to install the modifications. Vehicle adaptations can extend a senior’s time on the road due to the mental health benefits. Seniors who have stopped driving are nearly five times likely to enter a lifetime care facility and twice as likely to suffer from depression. If you have already been involved in an accident with a senior driver and have questions about your rights, it is time to schedule a consultation with an injury lawyer.