Older Drivers

Making Your Vehicle Safe

Common Safety Features

The vehicle, as well as the driver, should be safe. Many newer vehicles have up-to-date safety and comfort features, such as

For more information about vehicle safety and recalls, see www.safercar.gov

In an Emergency

Even a well-maintained vehicle can break down. Put together an emergency roadside kit to carry with you. A cell phone is especially important. Here are suggested emergency roadside kit contents.

Adaptive Equipment

People with permanent disabilities can benefit from special equipment in their cars. Such “adaptive” equipment helps drivers who have lost strength or flexibility due to an injury, stroke, or another health condition. Some people can modify the vehicle they already own, while others buy new vehicles.

Adaptive equipment includes pedal extenders, steering wheel knobs, and hand controls for the gas pedal and brake. A driver rehabilitation specialist can assess your situation, recommend the proper equipment, and tell you where to get it installed. This specialist can also teach you how to drive your newly equipped vehicle.

The cost of adaptive equipment depends on specific vehicle modifications. A state vocational services agency or nonprofit that assists people with disabilities may pay part of the cost. Also, most car manufacturers offer rebates on adaptive equipment when you buy a vehicle less than 1 year old.

For more information about adaptive equipment, see Adapting Motor Vehicles for Older Drivers from the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration.