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How automotive technology could help aging motorists

While some Connecticut motorists may embrace automotive advances such as self-driving vehicles, others may question the reliability of these technologies. Some of the early solutions engineered in modern automobiles include Bluetooth connectivity, cameras to assist with viewing areas that are difficult to see, and monitoring of vehicle conditions. Some of these technologies still need to be refined before being rolled out on a large scale, but many provide excellent benefits today, especially for aging motorists.

Older drivers can face challenges in seeing hazards because of their changing vision. Aging joints can also interfere with the ability to turn efficiently to see to the side or behind. Vehicles equipped with camera systems can help with these issues, and blind-spot technologies can complement cameras by warning drivers about imminent dangers. Robotic braking systems and self-parking vehicles could provide additional support for drivers with slower responses and difficulties in navigating.

Executives in the auto industry recognize that demographics in the nation will change dramatically in the next couple of decades. The number of people 70 years of age or older will increase by more than 20 million over the next 14 years, and at least 80 percent of those in this age group are expected to continue to maintain their licenses to drive. At the younger end of the spectrum, technology can continue to present some challenges. For example, some already overuse the robotic driving features of Tesla vehicles, which has been responsible for at least one fatality accident. Nevertheless, continued advances in this technology could improve safety on the nation's roads.

A distracted driver could come from any age group. The legal implications of an accident involving one could vary based on the underlying factors. For example, a distraction because of a medical problem with a passenger might be viewed differently than text messaging. The severity of the related injuries could also play a role in a victim's decision to consider legal action against the responsible party.

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