As we age, our physical condition naturally starts to decline. It's said that between the ages of 30 and 70, our range of motion declines by 20 to 30 percent. After age 70, this declination accelerates to around 50 percent less spinal mobility. This might not seem like a big deal at first, but it really is, especially when it comes to driving. Poor spinal and neck movement ranges can increase the risk of getting into an auto accident. Lessened mobility in the neck can more than double the risk of a car accident amongst these folk. Luckily the majority of these accidents are not fatal. Still, the risk is high enough that something needs to be done to help the elderly maintain their independence.
Advances in automobile technology have come up with a solution to this. Automatic car parking systems can help to eliminate the need for an elderly driver to keep turning their head. If the driver truly has poor mobility, this feature in a car is undisputedly a huge benefit for them.
These systems can detect if a parking space is large enough for your vehicle to fit inside. If you are in search of a parking spot, you simply push a button and the system does the looking for you. A message will sound for you to stop the car once the system has detected that your car will fit within a space. The machine walks drivers through the parking process; you just need to follow the commands that are prompted. When the car tells you to put the car in reverse, you do so and the rest of the work is basically done. The car can sense where obstacles are such as other cars and the curb. The steering wheel will spin on its own and park the car with minimal effort on your behalf. You just need to put the car in gear and follow directions. The driver still maintains control of the accelerator and the brake, so you can still use these functions of your car if you wish.
While all of the kinks are not yet worked out of these parking systems, they provide a huge positive service for the elderly. They can help minimize the amount of mobility necessary for city driving. Still, it is important that the person driving be in good enough physical and mental health for them to get behind the wheel. If you feel like your elderly relative is unable to drive, it's still important that you have this difficult conversation with them. But if the amount of hindering factors is minimal, a smart parking service within their car might be just the thing they need to keep driving themselves.