After the coronavirus has been brought under control, part of the return to normalcy for Virginia and America will be the resumption of major purchases such as houses, appliances and motor vehicles. When you walk into a Roanoke County car dealer, a salesperson will gladly tell you about the new vehicles equipped with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) designed to make driving easier and safer.

ADAS include items such as adaptive cruise control, back-up cameras, blind-spot monitoring, lane edge assist, automatic emergency braking and more. The high-tech features help drivers avoid motor vehicle crashes that result in severe injuries and fatalities.

A recent study shows that senior drivers – a group at higher risk of causing automobile accidents – do not make use of much of the driver-assistance tech that comes with their new vehicles.

Good news

However, the research also has good news: older drivers are more likely to use ADAS if they can watch interactive, instructional videos on the technologies than when they have to read through manuals or watch live demonstrations. When they learn how to use ADAS through the videos, senior drivers find it easier to use ADAS without dividing their attention to traffic and roads.

An engineering professor and researcher said, “older adults have a higher rate of vehicle crashes because of degradations in physical, mental and motor capabilities. With ADAS, some of the mental workload related to driving can be taken off.”

According to a news article, the research was recently published in the journal “Applied Ergonomics.”

Graying of America

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) says that about 18 percent of all motor vehicle accidents involve drivers 65 years and older. Because population trends indicate that America society will continue to skew older in coming years, the issue of ADAS use is going to gain in importance.

Why are seniors at higher risk of causing crashes? The evidence is that many older drivers struggle to simultaneously perform multiple driving tasks. While ADAS are designed to ease the burden on drivers, the technologies are best explained to seniors in videos that can be rewound, replayed multiple times and paused at will.

If you have been in a crash caused by a negligent driver, contact a Roanoke County attorney with a track record of obtaining full compensation for all damages in personal injury litigation.