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December 8, 2013

Smart cars offer assistance to older drivers

NORMAN — Older motorists shopping for a new ride can find smart features in today’s cars that help alleviate a variety of age-related health conditions, according to AAA. Nearly 90 percent of drivers age 65 and older suffer from health concerns that affect driving safety, for example, lack of flexibility and muscle strength.

To help mature drivers, AAA’s automotive experts reviewed more than 200 current model year makes and models to identify features that better equip seniors for driving safety and comfort.

For the updated, free, downloadable AAA brochure, Smart Features for Older Drivers, click here or visit and look in the Safety Brochures section of News & Safety under Newsroom at the bottom of the home page.

“The aging process can diminish a person’s vision or limit range of motion that could impact their driving,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “The good news is that AAA found that more than 200 vehicles have one or more smart features that can help the aging driver deal more effectively with these conditions.”

AAA originally launched the Smart Features for Older Drivers project in partnership with the University of Florida’s Institute for Mobility, Activity and Participation in 2008.

The most recent update lists 2013 vehicle features that optimize older driver safety and comfort, notes current vehicles with those features and allows users to explore their individual needs through an interactive online widget. Visit

AAA advises older drivers to look for vehicles that address their specific needs and medical conditions.

· Six-way adjustable seat help seniors with limited knee range of motion abnd hip or leg pain. The feature means it takes less strength to adjust and it’s easier to enter and exit the car.

· Arthritic hands and stiff fingers benefit from keyless entry and ignition. The feature reduces the amount of grip strength needed.

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