Seniors' Perceptions of Vehicle Safety Risks and Needs
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The investigation of vehicle safety needs for older drivers and passengers is integral for their safe transportation. A program of research on safe transportation for seniors was launched through AUTO21, a Canadian Network of Centres of Excellence. This national research network focuses on a wide range of automotive issues, from materials and design to safety and societal issues. An inductive qualitative inquiry of seniors' driving experiences, safety feature use, and strategies to prevent injury and manage risks was a first step in this program. We conducted interviews and focus groups with 58 seniors without disabilities and 9 seniors with disabilities. We identified a lack of congruity between the vehicle and safety feature design and seniors' needs. Seniors described strategies to manage their safety and that of others. Specific aspects of vehicle design, safety features, and action strategies that support safer use and operation of a vehicle by seniors are outlined.
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