Articles

06/14/2011

Car Safety Features Help Seniors Save Money

Safety Features Help SeniorsCar insurance for seniors can sometimes be more expensive than it is for slightly younger adults, but there are ways to bring the costs down. Since insurance premiums are based on perceived risk, anything a senior can do to reduce their risk of having an accident will also help save money.

In the old days, Grandma or Grandpa would simply buy the biggest car they could, under the assumption that all that extra "crumple zone" space would keep them safe. Today, safety features already included in new cars can help reduce what senior drivers pay for insurance, in much the same way that adding anti-theft measures to cars can reduce the cost of coverage for everyone else.

What are those safety features? Here's a list:

  • Adjustable Seats and Pedals: As people age their bodies seem to shrink, so adjustable seats and pedals are extremely helpful in keeping senior drivers safe and comfortable in their cars. The trick is to balance necessary lumbar support with the ability to reach the pedals and see over the dashboard, without putting stress on muscles that are losing some flexibility.
  • Backup Cameras and Blind spot Monitors: The cameras are simply an alternative to normal rear-view mirrors, and simply offer a better field of vision behind the car, when driving in reverse. The monitors use radar to detect when there's another vehicle in your vehicle's blind spot, and then issue a warning to the driver. Both are helpful to seniors who may have limited neck mobility, or whose vision may be faulty.
  • Collision prevention systems: Like blind spot monitors, these also use radar to measure the speed and distance of other objects around your car. Most of the time these "other objects" are other cars on the road with you. Since our reaction times slow as we age, a collision prevention system can be vital for driving safety.
  • Stability and Traction Control: It's true that both of these are standard features are most new cars these days, but just a few years ago, they were untried technology. In any case, they're a great help, not just to senior drivers, but to anyone who routinely encounters inclement weather or poor road conditions.

As technology advances, so, too will car safety for senior citizens. Don't be surprised if their maturity and experience combine with vehicles that are designed to be safer to make them the best drivers - with the cheapest insurance - on the road.