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Study: senior drivers lower car crash risks by watching videos

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Because of the pandemic, traffic on Bronx streets is dramatically thinner. When the city, nation and world rebounds and recovers, most people expect the hustle, bustle and traffic congestion to return as well. Part of the return to normalcy will, for many people, include a new car.

In 2020, new vehicles are equipped with a wide variety of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) that reduce the risks of motor vehicle crashes. These systems include adaptive cruise control, lane-maintain assist, back-up cameras, blind-spot monitoring, auto emergency braking and much more. Unfortunately, one of the groups of people most in need of these high-tech safety enhancements is the group least likely to comfortable enough with ADAS to use them: drivers 65 years old and up.

Safety in video

A study recently published in the journal “Applied Ergonomics” offers a way to get older drivers to use ADAS. Researchers found that seniors best learn how ADAS work by watching interactive videos. The videos can be rewound, paused and viewed over again, which allows older motorists to become familiar with ADAS features at their own pace.

A researcher said, “older adults have a higher rate of vehicle crashes because of degradations in physical, mental and motor capabilities. With ADAS, some of the mental workload related to driving can be taken off.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that 18 percent of all motor vehicle accidents in 2016 involved drivers 65 and older. Because population trends show that society will continue to skew older in coming years, the problem of how to get seniors to use ADAS is critical.

Struggling to multitask

The drivers at greatest risk of causing crashes are the very youngest and very oldest. For seniors, the crash risks are associated with a common struggle to multitask behind the wheel. Example: many older drivers struggle to within a matter of seconds safely locate a speed limit sign, engage the adaptive cruise control and check the rearview mirror.

The study also supports other recent research that in-dash infotainment screens and ADAS can also be dangerous distractions for drivers, meaning that the features both decrease and increase the likelihood of wrecks.

If you have been harmed by a distracted or otherwise negligent driver, contact a Bronx attorney experienced in maximizing compensation in personal injury litigation.