Are you looking for comfortable seating, a roomy driving position, safety, good visibility and wide doors with high entries/lowered floors so you don’t have to struggle to get in and out? In a vehicle with style, of course! Well now most automakers are designing cars with features that are more senior-friendly.
What to look for:
- Sliding rear doors that require little strength or even better, power sliding doors. Power anything is a plus.
- Brighter instrument displays and larger type.
- Doors that open wider.
- Navigation screens closer to eye level and not at arm’s length.
- Large side mirrors.
AAA recommends that drivers look for vehicles with features that address their specific health issues/mobility needs:
- For hip, knee or leg problems, a 6-way adjustable power seat is easier for drivers to enter and exit. Also look for seat heights that hit the driver between mid-thigh and lower buttocks.
- Arthritic hands, painful or stiff fingers benefit from four-door models, thick steering wheels, keyless entry and ignition, power mirrors and seats and larger dashboard controls.
- Those with diminished vision should look for extendable sun visors, large audio and climate controls and easy-to-read displays with contrasting text. And less glare. (Blue-green instrument lighting is easier to read than red.)
- A roomy trunk that can fit a walker or wheelchair.
If you can’t find one car that has it all, remember that there are many different types of adaptive equipment that could work for you. Adaptive equipment options vary from the ability to control secondary functions like turn signals and wipers with a touchscreen or voice control to pedal extenders, swivel seats and much more.