Simple Gadgets That Can Help Older Drivers



While age doesn’t make someone a bad driver, it does typically bring about physical and cognitive changes that can make driving more challenging.

To help keep senior drivers safe and prolong their driving years, there’s a plethora of inexpensive, aftermarket vehicle adaptions you can purchase that can easily be added to your vehicle to help with many different needs. Here are several to consider.

Entry and Exit Aids
To help arthritic/mobility challenged seniors with getting into and out of their vehicle, there are a variety of portable support handles you can buy, like the “Car Cane Portable Handle,” which inserts into the U-shaped striker plate on the doorframe.

Another useful product is a “Swivel Seat Cushion,” which is a round portable cushion that turns 360 degrees to help drivers and passengers rotate their body into and out of their vehicle.

Enhanced Rear Vision
To help seniors with limited upper body range of motion, which makes looking over their shoulder to back-up or merge into traffic difficult, there are special mirrors you can add.

For starters, to widen rear visibility, eliminate blind spots and even help with parallel parking, get an oversized rearview mirror like the “Allview Rearview Mirror” that clips on to the existing mirror. You should also purchase some “Blind Spot Mirrors,” which are 2-inch adjustable convex mirrors that stick to the corner of the side view mirrors.

Seat Belt Extenders
To make buckling up a little easier, there are a variety of seat belt extension products like the “Seat Belt Grabber Handle”, which is a rubber extension handle that attaches to the seat belt strap to make it easier to reach. And the “7-inch Rigid Seat Belt Extender” that fit into the seat belt buckle receiver to add a few inches of length, making them easier to fasten.

Gripping Devices
If you have hand arthritis that makes gripping the steering wheel, turning the ignition key or twisting open the gas cap difficult or painful, consider these products.

A “Steering Wheel Cover” that fits over the steering wheel to make it larger and easier to grip. The “Key Turner,” which is a small plastic handle that attaches to the car key to provide additional leverage to turn the key in the ignition or door. And for help at the pump, the “Gas Cap & Oil Cap Opener” is a long handled device that works like a wrench to loosen and tighten the gas cap.

Short Driving Aids
If you’ve have shrunk a little over the years to the point you need help seeing over the steering wheel, consider a “Foam Wedge Seat Cushion,” which is an orthopedic cushion that supports the back and elevates you a few inches.

All of these products cost under $50 and can be purchased online at Amazon.com.

Safety and Security
To help ensure your safety, and provide you peace of mind, you should also consider an in-car medical alert system like “SplitSecnd.” Offered only through Bay Alarm Medical (BayAlarmMedical.com, $40/month), his small device plugs into the vehicle’s cigarette lighter to provide 24/7 roadside and emergency assistance at the push of a button, automatic crash detection and response, and GPS vehicle location and monitoring capabilities.

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