Driving changes as you get older — and so should the type of car you drive.
Driving can be a complicated issue as older family members age and want to maintain independence, with safety often being a primary concern.
So when you find yourself in this situation, it’s crucial to consider things that play a role in ensuring a safe driving experience — which includes the type of car that best fits an individual’s needs.
That’s why older drivers have much more to consider when it comes to car buying than just horsepower and price.
The best vehicles for Seniors and Baby Boomers are ones that offer above-average visibility, a high number of safety features, easy-to-use infotainment and climate control systems, and comfort and ease getting in and out of the car.
The great thing for senior drivers is the number of styles and types of cars that are now available. The categories to choose from include:
Long List of Safety Features
If you haven’t bought a new car in a few years, then you will be pleasantly surprised at the long list of amenities included – even in economy cars.
Newer vehicles that have been freshly redesigned are most likely to come with the latest safety technologies, either standard or as optional equipment available in packages.
Technologies such as blind spot warning and lane departure warning come on most cars and can help you stay safe while traveling by keeping a close watch on the road and vehicles around you, even when you can’t see them.
Consumer Reports Top 25 Cars for Seniors
Consumer Reports recently released a report on the top cars for seniors that ranks cars based on needs that younger folk don’t necessarily think about, but may be crucial for a senior driver. The report measures things like ease of front seat access and readable, intuitive buttons.
Other Important Factors When Choosing Your Next Vehicle
Front-seat access. The right ride height makes a big difference in how easy it is to get in an out of a vehicle — not so low that you have to duck, but not so high that you have to climb up to get behind the steering wheel.
Visibility. Look for vehicles in which both tall and short drivers could see easily out of the front, side and back windows.
Controls. Good cars for senior drivers should have easy-to-read gauges and simple controls. That includes knobs and buttons for things like the radio and climate control as well as gear shifts.
Headlights. Check the headlights at night. Anyone over the age of 45 can have an especially hard time seeing without adequate light over enough area.
Don’t Forget the Grandkids
Some automakers are also adding rear seat occupancy alerts to cars to help remind drivers when they have left something, like grandkids, pets or groceries, in the back seat.
Today you can find the car of your dreams, with the features you want in just about any price range – from budget cars all the way up to luxury sedans and SUV’s.