Jodi Olshevski, Gerontologist and Executive Director for The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellance

CARROLLTON, Mo. — As new vehicles come out, more and more technology comes standard on new vehicles. Many of the new features help us drive safer. A study from The Hartford and MIT AgeLab suggests drivers over 50 are ready to embrace these new technlogies. The Hartford found that 76 percent of drivers who are age 50 or older and plan to buy a car in the next two years, will actively seek out advanced safety technologies.

Jodi Olshevski, Gerontologist and Executive Director for The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellance says, “What it means is that car tech is really top of mind for these drivers. It seems that it is becoming quite fashionable and it seems like we’re in the midst of an interesting transition because of those drivers who bought a car in the last year, only 32% of them actively sought out the technologies. Those that had them in their car, many of them just happened into it. But for people actually deliberately looking for it has seem to have grown quite a bit.”

Younger drivers may be looking for the latest Bluetooth and WiFi technology in their new ride, but this study shows older drivers are really interested in the new safety features. “The one that was at the top of the list for those drivers who are currently in the market for buying a car was blind spot warning systems. This is technology that will warn drivers of objects that might be in their blind spots. This is especially helpful when changing lanes and parking. Another vehicle technology which was on their list were crash mitigation systems. Those systems detect when a vehicle may be in danger of a collision, and help to minimize injuries to vehicle occupants.

These new technologies can help older drivers stay behind the wheel longer. “They’re going to have drivers feel more comfortable and safe in certain situations. For example blind spot monitoring can help many of us experience a change in flexibility and range of motion as we age, and so that technology can help support that capability which is so essential to driving.”

Another area that the study looked at was the topic of driverless cars. They found that 35 percent of mature drivers would be willing to use a driverless car if they could no longer drive safely. Jodi notes two reasons why. “One is that if the vehicle was proven to be as safe as them driving themselves, but second was if their health prevented them from driving themselves.”

More information and statistics can be found by visiting The Hartford’s website.