May 15 2017

Is Your Older Parent or Grandparent Driving the Right Car?

11048188 - portrait of smiling old woman driving carThanks to the Baby Boomer generation and significant medical advancements, citizens over the age of 65 make up a larger portion of the American population than ever before. This has a direct impact on the number of older drivers on the road. In fact, the number of senior citizens behind the wheel jumped a full 50 percent between 1999 and 2015! If you yourself are a senior citizen, or you are concerned about your older parents or grandparents driving down the highway, try to select one of the following vehicles that Consumer Reports selected as the best for older drivers. Are Older Drivers Really At Higher Risk? While new teenage drivers are still the most dangerous in terms of fatal crashes per mile, driving over the age of 65 or 70 presents problems of its own. Older drivers tend to go slower, but poor eyesight, slow reaction times, and failing night vision can all contribute to accidents. It’s also possible that drivers coping with the beginning stages of dementia came become confused and end up driving into oncoming traffic. Choosing the right can help reduce some of the most common sources of confusion and discomfort or older drivers. Important Components of Cars That Are Friendly to Senior Citizens First and foremost, a car that makes a good investment for an older driver should have simple front seat access, meaning that the vehicle’s height doesn’t make it too difficult to get in and out of. The car shouldn’t be so low that drivers have to duck to get in and out, but it also shouldn’t be so high that they feel like they need a step stool. Along the same lines, visibility out of the front, side, and back windows is critical and should have customized options for taller and shorter drivers. Simple gauges and controls, rather than an overwhelming selection of new-fangled technology, will also minimize potential distractions during driving. Which Cars Are the Best? The Subaru Forester, Subaru Outback, Kia Soul, Subaru Legacy, and Kia Sportage were voted as the five best vehicles for older drivers based on the components described above. Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue, and Toyota Corolla also made the list. Any of these crossover SUV’s and sedans will help your older driver remain safe on the road and maintain an important level of independence. When it comes time to repair that car, call Ralph’s Transmissions in Sarasota, Florida for transmission repair and diagnostic services. An older driver’s car is only as safe as its innerworkings, so be sure to trust Ralph’s Transmissions to complete the highest quality maintenance repairs. Call (941) 921-3559 to make an appointment now.