Savvy Senior: Automobile aids that can help elderly drivers

Jim Miller: For the elderly, certain products can extend their driving years, making driving easier and safer.
By Jim Miller, For The Oklahoman Published: March 10, 2014
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Dear Savvy Senior: Can you recommend any products that can help older drivers with their vehicles? My 84-year-old mother is still a pretty good driver, but she has arthritis, which limits her range of motion and hinders her driving.

— Searching Son

Dear Searching: To help keep older drivers safe and extend their driving years, there are a number of affordable products you can purchase today that can easily be added to your mom’s vehicle to help with many different needs. Here are several to consider.

Entry and Exit

If your mom’s limited range of motion is hampering her ability to get into and out of her vehicle, consider these products:

Standers Metro Car Handle: This is a small portable support handle that inserts into the U-shaped striker plate on the doorframe that helps with getting out of a car.

CarCaddie: This is a nylon strap handle that hooks around the top of the door window frame for entry and exiting help.

Swivel Seat Cushion: A round portable cushion that turns 360 degrees to help drivers and passengers rotate their body into and out of their vehicle.

Vision Helpers

If your mom has a difficult time looking over her shoulder to back-up or merge into traffic, or struggles with sensitivity to glare, these products can help.

AllView Mirror: This is an oversized rear view mirror that attaches to the existing rear view mirror to widen her rear visibility and eliminate blind spots so your mom can see traffic without significant neck or body rotation. It also helps during parking.

Blind Spot Mirrors: These are small convex mirrors that stick to the corner of the side view mirrors to improve side and rear vision.

Backup Camera: To eliminate blind spots and avoid turning around when backing up, this device (which costs around $100) comes with a wireless night vision camera that attaches to the license plate and a small monitor that mounts to the dash or windshield.