Dear Sabby Sr.: Do you know any useful car gadgets for older drivers? I drive a 12 year old car and have arthritis in my neck, back and knees that limit my mobility. Hard to look over your shoulder to get in and out of the car as well as back up. — almost 80
Dearest: There are some inexpensive products you can buy that can help older drivers save money and extend their driving years. These are easy additions to your vehicle. Here are some popular automotive aids to consider.
>> Entry/exit assistance: There are various support handles and special seat cushions for seniors with mobility impairments who have difficulty getting in and out of vehicles, especially low-height vehicles or vehicles with high entrances, such as SUVs and pickup trucks. can help.
Some examples include the Stander HandyBar ($40; stander.com), a portable support grab bar that inserts into the U-shaped striker plate of the door frame, and the CarCaddie ($20). door window frame. The Stander also has an auto-swivel seat cushion ($40) that rotates 360 degrees.
>> Rear vision booster: There are special mirrors and backup cameras to assist those with neck and back range of motion who have difficulty retreating over their shoulders or joining traffic.
To increase rearward visibility and eliminate blind spots, Verivue Mirrors (verivuemirrors.com) offers the popular Universal 12″ Panoramic Rearview Mirror ($13) that clips onto your existing rearview mirror and a variety of Blind Spot Mirrors (2 for $5). , is a small convex mirror that sticks to the corner of the door mirror.
Another handy device is the Auto-vox CS-2 Wireless Backup Camera Kit ($120, auto-vox.com). It comes with a night vision camera that attaches to the rear license plate and a small monitor that attaches to the dashboard or windshield. When the vehicle is backing up, a live image is wirelessly sent to the monitor so you can see what’s going on behind you.
>> seat belt extender: For plus size people and those with mobility issues, there are seat belt extender products that can make buckling a little easier. We offer vehicle-specific seat belt extenders ($13 to $26) that add a few inches of length and ease of tightening. They also sell the Seat Belt Grabber Handle ($8), which is a rubber extension handle that attaches to the seat belt strap for easy reach.
>> Grab device: If you have arthritis in your hands that make gripping difficult or painful, consider the SEG Direct Steering Wheel Cover ($17) that fits over your steering wheel. And to twist open a tight gas cap, you have a few options: BW BRANDS 3-Piece Gas Cap Tool Set ($20), Freedom Gas Cap Wrench ($20), or Gascapoff’s Gas Cap & Oil Cap Opener ( $17). All are long-handled tools that work like wrenches to loosen and tighten gas caps.
Many of these products can be found at your local auto supply store, the manufacturer’s website online, or at Amazon.com. Simply enter the product name in the search bar to search.
>> Professional help: If you need further assistance, consider contacting a trained driver rehabilitation professional who can assess older drivers and provide safety and driving equipment suggestions.
In addition to the types of devices described here, there are various adaptive types that can be professionally installed in vehicles such as swing-out swivel seats, pedal extenders and hand controls to assist people with various disabilities. There is also driving equipment. .
To find a Driver Rehabilitation Specialist in your area, visit AED.net or MyAOTA.aota.org/driver_search.
Jim Miller is a contributor to NBC-TV’s “Today” show and author of “The Savvy Senior.” Please direct any questions to Savvy Senior, PO Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070. Or visit savvysenior.org.