Thursday, December 17, 2015

Drivers 50-69 Weigh in on Car Technologies

Photo by Bradak.
Decades ago, cars had very few safety features.

People driving the earliest models did not have the benefit of rear-view mirrors, electric windshield wipers, seat belts, shatter-proof glass, back-up lights, anti-lock brakes, and air bags.

Driving a car without these standard features seems foolhardy to us today.

I predict that within a decade, it will seem foolhardy to drive a car without some of these emerging new safety technologies:

  1. Reverse back-up cameras
  2. Blind-spot warning systems
  3. Collision avoidance systems
  4. Lane departure warning systems 
  5. Smart headlights
In November of 2015, The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence produced a guide to vehicle safety technology.  

[Note: The information provided in this post was provided by the Hartford Company. However, all opinions are my own.]

Drivers aged 50 to 69 were given a list of seven safety features they were most likely to adopt. The 302 participants gave these two features the highest rankings:
  • Back-up cameras 78%
  • Blind-spot warning systems 77%
An overwhelming majority of the mature drivers (96%) indicated they would be willing to buy a car with at least one of the safety technologies.  

"Drivers who are experienced with technology in general, trust it, and see themselves as able to learn how to use it are more receptive to adopting vehicle technologies," said Joseph F. Coughlin, Ph.D., Director of the MIT AgeLab. "These tech-savvy drivers feel more positive about vehicle technologies overall and are more likely to recommend that a family member of friend purchase a care with new technologies." 

What follows is a video about auto technology and safety for mature drivers.  This 4 minute video features Jodi Olshevski, a gerontologist from Hartford, and Joseph F. Coughlin, founder/director of MIT's AgeLab. 

To learn more about vehicle safety, take the Hartford Technology Video Quiz.



  1. I think the rear camera and blind spot detectors are brilliant and should be standard in every car. I review a lot of cars, and it now feels dangerous to drive without those.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience as a person who reviews newly-minted cars. It's interesting to see how quickly you have adjusted to using one and how valuable you find these two new safety features in particular.

    2. I agree with all Lois said. They should all be mandatory AND I believe people over 60 or so should be required to take driving tests every 5? 10? years.

  2. I am 100 percent in on having all the help needed. My rear camera only works on backup, but I'd like it all the time and I want a blind spot detector in my next car.


    1. Carol: I haven't driven a car with this feature--yet. That's interesting to know that some are only triggered when driving in reverse. Hmmm.

  3. I think we all, at every age, need all of those added safety features. I am pretty back up camera dependant now and recently rented a car without it... YIKES, talk about changing habits! Great info as always Karen.

  4. If more safety is possibly, it should be included. We lose too many people in traffic accidents that could be avoided. Thanks Karen!

  5. I'm all for any new technology that gives a driver more safety options. No matter what the age.

    1. True. These safety features can help drivers of all (legal) ages.

  6. I love the new safety features. After driving review cars with the backup camera, it always seems a tad scary to return to driving my own car that DOESN'T have the camera.

  7. I just purchased my first new vehicle and it's loaded with the safety features you mentioned in this post. At first, I wondered if they were really necessary, but now I'd be lost without them. During our many years of marriage, I've complained when my husband edges too close to the center line. Now that we have a lane departure alert, it does the work for me, and he doesn't get offended when it tells the blatant truth.

  8. We were the first family on our block in Detroit in the mid 60s to have seat belts in our car. I remember having to explain to my friends what they were and how to use them. People thought we were weird. To this day, when it comes to safety features, I'm an early adopter. In fact I'm looking forward to the day when cars drive themselves, taking humans (and human error) out of the equation.