Best Senior Safe Vehicles
Transportation can be a tricky obstacle to overcome as you or your loved one grows older. While it’s great to have a transportation or public transportation of available, it can still be tough to give up the keys. If you or your loved one is still capable of driving, you’ll want to make sure that you have a vehicle that will provide the most safety and accessibility for your senior. In 2009, more than 58% of deaths in crashes involving drivers over age 65 were drivers themselves and 12 % were passengers. This is just one of the many reasons that we strongly recommend that you evaluate your current vehicle to ensure that it’s safe to drive. Below we’ve provided a few tips on what to look for when shopping for a vehicle, as well as a few suggestions on specific brands and models of senior safe vehicles that are deemed safe and secure by many studies.
What to Look For in a Senior Safe Vehicle
When shopping for senior safe vehicles, make sure that you know what to look for as far as safety features. Just because a vehicle is shiny and new, that does not mean that it’s safe to drive. Learning the vehicle's history, as well as the following safety features can help you find the perfect vehicle for you or your loved one.
Insurance Industry Crash-Test Rating
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a safety-research group that conducts its own series of crash tests, to the front, side, and rear. The primary frontal crash series runs a vehicle at 40 mph into a deformable barrier. Instead of engaging the whole width of the car's front end, which the government’s traditional front-crash test does. It's important to make sure that the vehicle you’re looking at has a high crash-test rating. If you do happen to get in an accident, knowing that your vehicle is one of the safest on the road provides the peace of mind you desire.
It seems simple enough, but many will forget to check if the vehicle they purchased has working air bags. One of the biggest factors when it comes to injuries in accidents is a failed airbag or no airbag at all. Make sure that you speak with the previous owner of the vehicle to ensure that the air bags are in working shape.
Safety Belt Features
Another major feature the best senior safe vehicles is the safety belt features. You’ll want to ensure that the safety belts in the vehicle are secure and up-to-par with industry standards. Many vehicles also include safety-belt pretensions and force limiters, which work with the airbags to protect you in a crash. Pretensioners automatically take up the slack in the seat belt during a frontal crash, helping to restrain and properly position people for the air bag.
3 Best Senior Safe Vehicles
Most seniors will want a vehicle with a lot of interior space but is still easy to maneuver. That’s why the Chevy Impala is one of the most popular senior safe vehicles. The Impala does an impressive job at reinventing the big American sedan, earning a high overall road test score from Consumer Reports. You can even get one with a rear camera to ensure that you can back and back up with ease. The controls are also simple, so you or your loved one does not have to spend time figuring out where all the features are.
The Ford Fusion is a model of car that combines the sleek look of a sports car, with the features that will benefit many seniors. Since it sits lower to the ground, you should have no problem getting in and out of the vehicle. The redesigned seats provide more comfort and improved side-support and the rearview camera also has systems to monitor blind spots and alerts for traffic crossing to the rear of the car. This is one of the many senior safe vehicles that will allow you to ride in style while maintaining safety.
These senior safety vehicles are great for those who want to take their grandkids on family outings. With plenty of room, and wifi and DVD players offered in many versions, this vehicle is perfect for those family vacations. With great MPG and a high crash-test rating, the Hyundai Crossover could be a great addition to the family.
We also would just like to remind you that you or your senior should have routine physicals and eye exams done. While we realize that it’s important to remain independent when considering transportation, it’s also important that you are not putting the safety of yourself or others on the road in jeopardy. If you are physically or mentally unfit to drive, make sure that you stay out from behind the wheel and look into other transportation options.