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Older drivers could benefit from car safety technology

Senior citizens in California represent a portion of the many drivers in the state. Older drivers may experience more problems with driving safely due to physical and mental challenges that sometimes come with age. At the same time, older people may suffer more serious injuries when involved in traffic accidents. New automobile technology could make driving safer for all drivers, and it's coming just as the oldest baby boomers are reaching their 70s.

The use of technology to make vehicles safer is in the news frequently, largely thanks to the advent of self-driving cars. Though the future of self-driving cars is still somewhat uncertain, the fact that companies like Google are working to get them on the roads has made people aware of the role technology can play in making vehicles more convenient and potentially safer.

Some safety features that originally were optional or only available in more expensive cars have started to become standard, and certain ones are set to become mandatory by specific dates. Rear-view cameras accompanied by a screen on the dashboard that lets drivers see clearly what is behind them are required to be in all new cars by May 2018. Automated emergency brakes are not currently slated to be mandatory, but automakers expect them to be standard by 2022.

Though safety technology could help older drivers, there is concern that older people may be wary of new technology and avoid it. AARP is planning to focus on automobile technology in its driver safety programs to help people understand the new and coming technology and how it can make driving safer.

Automobile safety technology brings with it new questions about liability in accident cases. When someone is injured in an accident, the fault could lie with a driver, an automobile manufacturer or even a software developer if computer technology played a role in the accident. An attorney representing an injured victim will often use the official police accident investigation report in an attempt to pinpoint responsiblity.

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