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The Growing Population Of Seniors Cruising In New Cars

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Gone are the days when that bright red, low slung sports car was the very lifeblood of our youth. If you are like most seniors, with the emphasis on “most,” style and speed have been replaced with features like spaciousness, ease of entry and exit, and efficiency. At some stages in our lives, we find it desirable to make allowances for the changes in our bodies, and sometimes our budgets. Some of the common afflictions that come with age, such as arthritis and knee problems have conspired to make vehicles with wide doors and elevated ride heights increasingly popular.

Consumer Reports used that criterion recommending cars for senior citizens that include roominess, clear visibility, comfortable seats and easy access. This however, does not mean your car has to be boring. Top picks for seniors include mid size sedans, mini vans and small SUVs. The fact is, a lot more people over the age of 65 are purchasing new cars these days. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, seniors are the fastest growing segment of the population. Research findings by the Center for Disease Control, the Transportation Research Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have shown that older drivers share some positive driving traits:

  • They wear seat belts more often than any other age groups except infants and preschool children
  • They tend to drive when conditions are safest (e.g. they limit their driving during bad weather and at night)
  • They drive fewer miles than younger drivers do; and they are less likely to drink and drive than other adult drivers

I’m In Love With My Car by ~sphyle on deviantART

People over the age of 65 have their own unique and varied set of needs when it comes to vehicles. The Center for Disease Control reports that more than 60 per cent of adults age 65 and over suffer from some difficulty in physical functioning. Accordingly, choosing a vehicle that properly caters to each driver’s specific needs and challenges can make a big difference in overall comfort, purchase satisfaction, and even safety.  So, if you are over the age of 65, what factors should you consider when purchasing a new car?

Smaller To Mid Size Cars Are Generally More Affordable

Smaller vehicles tend to have lower licensing fees, which will appeal to people on a fixed income, such as retirees. Smaller vehicles usually get better gas mileage, reducing fuel costs. Finally, smaller cars are often easier to maneuver in tight places, such as parking lots.

Consider Visibility And Accessibility

Make sure when test driving a new vehicle that you can see easily over the dashboard to the road in front, with few obstructions (such as window frames.)  Ease of accessibility is also a major consideration.

How Easy Is It To Get In And Out Of The Vehicle?
Take note if there are two doors or four doors. Keep in mind that a two door vehicle often has heavier doors, as it has to open wide enough to allow for access to the back seat or storage area. This can be especially cumbersome if you are parked on a hill.

Automatic Vs. Manual Transmission
If you are over the age of 65, you may find that an automatic transmission makes driving easier than a manual transmission. That way, you won’t need to use a clutch and shift gears while you are driving.

Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living residences provide seniors with financial assistance to make ideal decisions regarding investments such as vehicles and real estate. They help seniors make the best possible decisions so they can manage their savings effectively. Assisted Living also provides other transportation options for seniors who prefer not to drive such as pick up and drop off services.

Give some thought to the features that appeal to you in a new car. Generally, as we get older, we tend to place a higher value on simplicity and practicality when we make large purchases. The latest automotive bells and whistles, such as power lock doors or Global Positioning Systems, often do not appeal to drivers wanting fewer “gadgets” and easy to use functionality. If you are over the age of 65, a roomy trunk might appeal to you more than the latest automotive digital technology or high end stereo system. Sales research shows that most seniors favor cars in lighter paint colors for example, light blue, silver or white, which has the benefit of keeping the vehicle cooler in hot weather. In this mindset, there are a number of new vehicles on the market that afford, not only spacious interiors, but are also reasonably priced and aesthetically appealing.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Phoenix and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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