Technology and an aging motorist pool

California freeways can be dangerous, and they are often congested. An elderly driver might feel intimidated in these situations because of difficulties in turning to see while changing lanes. Vision can be another major factor in limiting an elderly driver's time on the road. However, driving can be a major interest as an aging person attempts to remain independent. Fortunately, the auto industry is hard at work in engineering technologies to assist with driving challenges facing not only the elderly but also drivers of all ages.

Self-driving vehicles offer the greatest promise for those who could otherwise be restricted from driving on freeways and busy streets. However, this is one of the more controversial technologies in development as consumers worry about the potential for car accidents because of programming problems. An autopilot feature on the Model S from Tesla Motors has been rolled out with recommendations that many are ignoring to some degree. Many worry that a glitch with a self-driving vehicle could be deadly, and at least one fatality has occurred in connection with the robotic driving of the Model S.

Some technologies are less controversial and are being incorporated into today's automobiles. For example, dashboard video systems provide visual information about the sides and back of the vehicle, which can help an elderly driver who cannot turn their head well. Self-parking features can help drivers who tend to misjudge spaces. Robotic braking can help those who don't see certain hazards, intervening to prevent collisions.

Age does not imply inability to drive, but an individual injured in an accident involving an elderly driver might wonder whether a physical or medical issue has contributed to the incident. A lawyer representing such a client might investigate the driver's health history as well as any record of prior driving problems.

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