Your mom and dad still drive. They insist that their car’s features ensure they are safe drivers. You’re not as sure that’s true. Could their car’s features be enough to keep them on the road?
Today’s cars are packed with features that do alert drivers to impending issues. That can make it safer, depending on what features they have. But, you still need to talk to your parents’ doctors and check their driving for yourself.
What Safety Features Are Available In Their Car?
Different cars and models will have some or all of these features. Some are more helpful than others, but they are all worth considering when it comes to heightened safety on the road.
- Adaptive Cruise Control: Adjusts acceleration and braking to be at a preset speed.
- Adaptive Headlights: Headlights that follow the car’s tires and turn with a turn.
- Around View or 360-degree Cameras: Back-up cameras are becoming the norm, but some cars now have cameras that show the sides, front, and back of the car, simultaneously.
- Forward Automatic Emergency Braking: The car hits the brakes if a collision in the front of the car is about to happen or the driver isn’t braking hard enough to stop in time.
- Back-up Camera: A camera shows you the area behind the car so that you can check for people and items as you’re backing up.
- Blind Spot Warning: Alerts you if something is in your blind spot.
- Lane Keeping Assist: Notifies you and may even adjust the steering if the car’s detection system notices you’re over the centerline or heading for the shoulder.
While this can help your parents avoid collisions when they have arthritis or slowed reaction times, they still need to carefully consider how safe driving is as their abilities change.
Things You Can Do to Assess Your Parents’ Driving Skills
Go out with your parents and let them do the driving. Check their reaction times. Do they apply the brakes early enough? Can they turn their head far enough to check blind spots?
You also want to make sure they position their seat correctly. If they’re having a hard time moving the seat forward or back, electronic seat controls may help. If they purchase a car that has seating positions that they can preset, that’s even handier.
Talk to their eye doctor about their vision. Eye conditions like cataracts can make it hard to drive when the sun is setting, and it’s shadowy. You also need to discuss health issues with their doctor. After a heart surgery or stroke, driving may not be allowed.
When they can’t drive, it’s time to address the importance of home care. They can have caregivers stop by on days they need to go out. Caregivers can drive them to stores, appointments, and other locations so that they don’t have to risk it. Plus, you don’t have to arrange time off work. Call a home care agency to learn more.