By Josie DiPisa
Cars have come a long way since Henry Ford introduced the barebones Model T in 1908. Thanks to radar and computer controls, today’s autos include features that make cars smarter and safer than ever. That’s great news for drivers, especially those who want to retain their independence as they age.
If it’s been a while since you drove a new car, you’ll be amazed at the array of seamless technology at your fingertips to support and enhance your mobility and performance behind the wheel. Here are some features the American Association of Retired Persons website (AARP.org) suggests are worth considering in a new car:
• Safety: Blindspot detectors, collision warning with automatic braking, and cruise control that modifies your car’s speed to match traffic can reduce the risk of accidents.
• USB ports: A port makes it easy to keep your phone powered up and connected to audio systems.
• Seat warmers: In Rochester, heated seats are a must-have to counteract your natural instinct to tense up when you’re cold.
• Self-parking technology: This option may appeal to you if you live in the city or a neighborhood where parallel parking is a way of life.
• Automatic headlights: A sensor to detect light conditions and oncoming traffic turns your headlights on automatically when you start your car in the dark. It also activates the high beams on dark stretches of road, and then clicks them off when cars approach.
• Keyless entry: This system detects a key fob in your purse or pocket and automatically unlocks the doors. A very handy thing to have when you’re bringing a load of groceries to your car.
• Bluetooth connectivity: The wireless feature lets your phone talk to your car — and you talk on your phone — without taking your eyes off the road. You may also be able to get voice-to-text software allowing you to send text messages on the go.
• Backup camera: This valuable feature is now federally mandated standard equipment on cars. When driving in reverse, a backup camera lets you see behind your car and beeps when you come close to another object.
• Be a safe driver longer: Smart cars still need an alert, cautious and knowledgeable driver behind the wheel. The AARP Smart Driver course, a research-based instructional class is a specially designed course for drivers aged 50 years and older and is an excellent opportunity to brush up on road safety, learn about new traffic laws, and the latest automotive technologies. Plus, you’ll receive up to a 10% discount on your auto insurance for three years.
Josie DiPisa is a marketing representative for St. Ann’s Community at Chapel Oaks. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.stannscommunity.com.
AARP Smart Driver Course
St. Ann’s Community will host a two-part AARP Smart Driver course at Chapel Oaks from 9 a.m.–noon, Tuesday, Feb. 11 and from 9 a.m.–noon Thursday, Feb. 13. The fee is $20 for AARP members and $25 for non-AARP members. To reserve your spot, call Josie DiPisa at 585-697-6606.