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Simple tools senior drivers don't use to help them drive safer and longer

A new study shows 90 percent of senior drivers don’t take advantage of simple tools to help them drive safer and longer. (Photo: AAA)

A new study shows 90 percent of senior drivers don’t take advantage of simple tools to help them drive safer and longer.

It’s a dilemma nearly everyone has to face when they get older. At what point do you put up the keys and stop driving?

A new AAA study shows most senior drivers 65 and older aren’t taking advantage of simple, inexpensive tools that could help them driver safer and longer.

“These devices are so simple you can get them at any auto parts store,” AAA spokesperson Kara Thorp said.

Thorp and an AAA press release detail things like seat pads, convex mirrors, a pedal extension, steering wheel covers and hand controls.

“Steering wheel covers, things like that, if you have arthritis making it easier to grip the steering wheel,” Thorp said.

“Seats that can help raise you up a bit so that you can see a little better over the steering wheel. Things like that really make a big difference,” she said.

Thorp also showed other tools like a small bar that helps drivers get in and out of a car. Those are comfort tools, but can also improve safety by just keeping the driver comfortable.

“Something like that would be great,” Home Instead marketing director Don Murphy said.

Murphy said it’s very common for families to struggle over the decision on whether or not to stop driving.

“Kids are afraid to tell dad, hey you can’t drive anymore,” Murphy said.

He said things like steering wheel covers can help them.

“That could be a lifesaver, literally,” Murphy said.

He said if people knew about these tools, they’d buy them. That’s because drivers want to stay behind the wheel as long as possible.

“If they knew that I think they would do that, that number would drop significantly,” Murphy said referring to the 90 percent of senior drivers who don’t use any of the tools.

AAA when seniors can’t drive they’re twice as likely to be depressed and five times as likely to enter a long-term care facility.

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