While traffic on Las Vegas streets is thinner these days than at any time in recent memory, most residents expect that when the nation reopens and rebounds, crowds and traffic congestion will return here as well.
New vehicles these days come equipped with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) to help make life behind the wheel easier and safer. These high-tech features can include adaptive cruise controls, lane assist, back-up cameras, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking and more.
Unfortunately, senior drivers – a demographic group that is at higher risk of causing motor vehicle crashes – are often reluctant to make use of safety-enhancing ADAS.
However, a study recently published in the journal “Applied Ergonomics” shows that seniors can become more comfortable with ADAS when they learn about the systems by watching interactive videos rather than reading through manuals or even with live demonstrations.
Risks associated with older drivers
“Older adults have a higher rate of vehicle crashes because of degradations in physical, mental and motor capabilities,” said engineering professor and researcher Maryam Zahabi. “With ADAS, some of the mental workload related to driving can be taken off.”
According to the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 18 percent of all motor vehicle accidents in 2016 involved drivers age 65 and above. Because the senior population is expected to continue to grow, the number of wrecks involving seniors is expected to rise proportionally as well.
Crash risk tendencies
Zahabi said that statistics show that the very youngest and very oldest drivers are at greatest risk of crash involvement.
For younger drivers, the risks are associated with inexperience and a tendency to fail to understand how quickly and easily a crash can happen. For older drivers, the risk are typically related to difficulties seniors can have in simultaneously performing multiple driving tasks.
For example, many older drivers will find it difficult to within a matter of seconds engage the adaptive cruise control, check their rear-view mirror and look for a posted speed limit.
Researchers said they believe that video instructions can help reduce seniors’ unease with ADAS because the videos can be rewound, paused and watched again so that learning is at whatever pace the motorist is comfortable with.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a crash caused by a negligent driver, contact a Las Vegas attorney with a track record of obtaining maximum compensation in personal injury litigation.