Buying a safe car
There are several resources available to assist mature drivers in choosing a vehicle to fit their specific needs.
- The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is an independent, nonprofit, scientific, and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses - fatalities, injuries and property damage - from crashes on the nation’s highways. It is wholly supported by auto insurance companies. To find information on the safety rating for particular vehicles and models, click here or visit IIHS's Web site at http://www.iihs.org.
- IIHS has published a consumer brochure and video entitled: “Shopping for a Safer Car 2009" which includes what to look for in your purchase. IIHS also produces “Status Reports” on select topics, including top safety picks, motorcycles, bumpers, convertibles and older drivers. To view a copy, click here or visit IIHS's Web site at http://www.iihs.org.
- The American Automobile Association (AAA) recommends that mature drivers choose a vehicle based upon their specific needs. Their recommendations can be viewed by clicking here or visit AAA's Web site at http://www.aaaexchange.com.
- The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the University of Florida National Older Driver Research and Training Center recommend vehicle features for senior drivers which can be found by clicking here or visit the Research and Training Center at http://news.ufl.edu/2008.
- AARP has put together some safety features to consider when buying a car. To view this information, click here or visit AARP's Web site at http://www.aarp.org.
- To read an article on research identifying vehicle features that improve safety and comfort of aging drivers and lifelong safe mobility, click here or visit http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release.do?id=835209.
Improve the fit of your car
Carfit® is a community-based program developed by AARP, AAA and the American Occupational Therapy Association to help older drivers improve the “fit” of their vehicle for their safety and comfort. The program is designed to promote conversations among older adults and families about driving safety and link adults with relevant local resources that can help them drive safer longer. The program involves a “checkup” where trained volunteers look at 12 items including:
- Clear line of sight over the steering wheel.
- Adequate distance from the front airbag.
- Proper positioning of seat and mirrors.
- Ability to use the foot pedals.
- Proper safety belt use and fit.