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Technology may lead to safer driving for older motorists

Safety technology that is designed to help eliminate driver errors that are a major cause of accidents in Illinois and across the country is fast becoming a reality. Automakers are rolling out smarter cars that can not only detect pedestrians, cyclists and other traffic but that can also steer clear of an impending collision and even hit the brakes when an impact is imminent. At the same time, however, there is concern that the age group that might most benefit from these advances will not trust the technology enough to take full advantage of all that it may have to offer.

It is suggested that at least one highly publicized incident regarding a fatality that occurred in connection with early use of one electric-car maker's autopilot system could prove off-setting to drivers of the baby boom generation. According to a senior adviser to the American Association of Retired Persons, this group of drivers, who are beginning to turn 70 in 2016, will need help in understanding just what the developing safety technology will soon have to offer. Otherwise, these drivers may simply avoid what they don't understand.

Statements made by one researcher indicate that because the new technology could lead to increased driver safety, it is primed to support older drivers, who may become more easily confused in highly congested areas and who may be affected by the mobility issues that can be associated with old age. These drivers also tend to be more fragile than those in younger age groups, so they are believed to be more likely to suffer serious injuries in the event that a crash does occur.

Even as safety technology becomes standard in more cars, the occurrence of a serious accident may remain a real possibility. People who are injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another motorist of any age may want to have legal help when seeking compensation for their losses.

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