The Hartford Newsroom

Drivers Age 50+ Want More High-Tech Safety In Next Vehicle, According to The Hartford And MIT AgeLab

The Hartford commits $1 million to AARP Driver Safety for the joint development of a new and innovative vehicle technology education program

June 21, 2016
"It is encouraging that a majority of mature drivers planning their next vehicle purchase will purposely seek out high-tech safety features"

HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For drivers age 50 and older who are shopping for a new car in the next two years, safety technologies will be more of a key consideration than for those drivers who bought a car in the last year, according to a new survey from The Hartford and the MIT AgeLab.

The survey reveals that 76 percent of drivers age 50 and older who plan to buy a new car will actively seek out high-tech safety features. In comparison, only 32 percent of drivers age 50+ who bought a car in the last year actively sought out these vehicle technologies.

“It is encouraging that a majority of mature drivers planning their next vehicle purchase will purposely seek out high-tech safety features,” said Jodi Olshevski, gerontologist and executive director of The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence®. “The Hartford has a long history of helping drivers age 50+ stay safe on the road, which is why we’re developing an innovative program with AARP Driver Safety and why we’re one of the first companies to offer a discount for certain safety technologies.”

AARP Driver Safety Sponsorship
To help drivers learn how to maximize the value of these features, The Hartford has committed $1 million over three years to expand its longstanding partnership with AARP Driver Safety to jointly develop an exclusive and innovative vehicle technology education program. Together, The Hartford and AARP Driver Safety aim to help drivers:

  • Understand current and evolving vehicle safety technologies and how to use them
  • Recognize how technologies might enhance their driving safety and extend safe driving years
  • Choose the technologies that best suit their needs

“With the changes in vehicle technology over the last five years, it’s critical for drivers to stay updated and informed,” said Kyle Rakow, vice president and national director of AARP Driver Safety, which conducts the nation’s largest and longest-running driving refresher course. “Many of these technologies have potential to make driving safer, which is why we are so appreciative of The Hartford’s generous commitment to this new endeavor.”

Additional Survey Findings

  • Top Technologies
    Drivers age 50+ who plan to buy a car within the next two years will be seeking:
    • Blind spot warning systems (87 percent)
    • Crash mitigation systems (85 percent)
    • Lane departure warning systems (79 percent)
    • Smart headlights (78 percent)
  • Vehicle Technologies and Driving Longevity
    The majority of drivers age 50 and older (75 percent) think having safety technologies in their vehicle will help extend how long they will be able to continue driving. These drivers say they:
    • Will feel more comfortable and confident while driving (38 percent)
    • Will feel safer while driving (29 percent)
    • Think technology will compensate for driving difficulties (28 percent)
  • Vehicle Technologies and Driving Habits
    Many mature drivers already adjust when and where they drive so they feel comfortable and safe.

    “Our findings indicate that some drivers age 50+ would be more willing to drive in certain situations if they had particular technologies, suggesting they associate advanced technologies with enhanced safety,” noted Olshevski.

    Of those who currently limit their driving:
    • 50 percent would be more willing to drive on the highway if they had crash mitigation systems
    • 41 percent would be more willing to drive long distances if they had adaptive cruise control
    • 39 percent would be more willing to drive at night if they had smart headlights
    • 36 percent would be more willing to drive in heavy traffic if they had traffic jam assist
  • Top Five Reasons for Driverless Cars
    Drivers age 50 and older would consider purchasing a self-driving car if:
    1. It was proven as safe as driving themselves (56 percent)
    2. Their health prevented them from driving (48 percent)
    3. It helped them stay connected to friends and family if they could no longer drive (27 percent)
    4. It was cheaper than a regular car (26 percent)
    5. It was recommended by someone they trust (17 percent)

Overall, 35 percent of drivers age 50+ would be willing to use a driverless car if they could no longer drive safely; 42 percent are unsure, and only 24 percent would not be willing to use one.

The Hartford has been dedicated to promoting safe driving among 50+ drivers for more than 30 years and has produced numerous studies and public education campaigns on driving safety, most recently focused on vehicle technologies. And as the exclusive national provider of auto and home insurance for AARP members since 1984, The Hartford has insured millions of drivers over the age of 50.

The survey, Looking Forward: Vehicle Technology Preferences Among Mature Drivers, is The Hartford and the MIT AgeLab’s fourth joint research project focused on vehicle technology and driving safety for mature drivers. For more information, visit thehartford.com/cartech.

Research Methodology

Zeldis conducted an online survey of drivers over the age of 50 across the United States for The Hartford. The survey – Looking Forward: Vehicle Technology Preferences Among Mature Drivers – was fielded in March 2016 and a total of 2,015 surveys were completed. The data were weighted to match U.S. Census current population survey benchmarks. Using a 95 percent level of confidence, the margin of error is +/- 2.2 percent.

About The Hartford

With more than 200 years of expertise, The Hartford (NYSE: HIG) is a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. The company is widely recognized for its service excellence, sustainability practices, trust and integrity. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at https://www.thehartford.com/. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheHartford. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheHartford_PR.

About The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence

The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence creates innovative business solutions for the mature market. Staffed by gerontologists, the center is uniquely positioned to apply knowledge of aging to develop one-of-a-kind products and services for The Hartford's customers, and specialized training for The Hartford's employees. The center conducts original research in partnership with academic institutions and produces public education programs on safety, mobility and independence. The Hartford has had this in-house expertise since 1984, guiding The Hartford to unparalleled success in understanding and serving the mature market. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheHartfordCMME.

About the MIT AgeLab

The MIT AgeLab is a multidisciplinary research program that works with business, government, and NGOs to improve the quality of life of older people and those who care for them. The AgeLab applies consumer-centered systems thinking to understand the challenges and opportunities of longevity and emerging generational lifestyles to catalyze innovation. For more information go to agelab.mit.edu, or follow the AgeLab Director on Twitter @JosephCoughlin.

About AARP Driver Safety

AARP Driver Safety first launched in 1979 as the “55 Alive” program to help to keep older drivers independent, safe and confident while on the road. Today, AARP Driver Safety continues to meet the needs of older drivers through leading educational programs that include the AARP Smart Driver course, CarFit, We Need to Talk, and the Driving Resource Center. The flagship AARP Smart Driver course is the nation’s largest classroom and online driver safety course and is designed especially for drivers age 50 and older. Over 16 million participants have gone through AARP Driver Safety classroom and online courses, taught by more than 4,000 AARP Driver Safety volunteers. The courses are available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. To learn more visit www.aarp.org/drive or follow us on Twitter @AARPdsp.

HIG-N

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Contact:

The Hartford
Julia Zweig, 860-547-5355
julia.zweig@thehartford.com

Multimedia Files:

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Among 50+ drivers who plan to buy a car in the next two years, 76% will actively seek out high-tech safety features. (Graphic: Business Wire)
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