Remember ‘Dobie’s’ hot rod? Then you may need help with your driving

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If you remember “Dobie Gillis’s”  hot rod, we need to talk.

You’ve been driving for decades now, still enjoy getting behind the wheel, but may not be as sharp as you were back when Dobie and Maynard G. Krebs had the old XMSC-210. As you live life’s golden years, Cialis isn’t the only place to turn for help. The AAA has evaluated 200 new cars to see which smart features can make driving easier for baby boomers. The auto club says that nearly 90 percent of motorists 65 and older suffer from health issues, such as lack of flexibility and strength.

Within a dozen years, it has been estimated, people 65 and older will make up more than 20 percent of the driving population. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says crash deaths per mile traveled begin to increase markedly after age 75 with deterioration in vision and the ability to reason and remember, as well as the rise of physical challenges such as arthritis and reduced strength. If there is an antidote to aging, it’s making the roads and the vehicles traveling on them easier and safer to negotiate.

“Although older Americans are healthier now more than ever before, the aging process can diminish a person’s vision or limit range of motion that could impact their driving,” said Jake Nelson of AAA. “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.”

For drivers with limited knee range of motion and hip or leg pain, there are six-way adjustable seats that take less strength to adjust, and make it easier to get in and out of a car. For those with arthritic hands or stiff fingers, keyless entry and ignition require less grip strength. A thick steering will help people whose fine motor skills have diminished by reducing the pain from twisting and turning.

“A 2012 survey revealed that only one in 10 senior drivers with health issues are driving a vehicle with features like keyless entry or larger dashboard controls that can assist with such conditions,” said Nelson. “AAA’s goal is to empower older drivers with information that can help keep them safer behind the wheel.”

Ashley Halsey reports on national and local transportation.

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