Bloomfield Hills, Michigan – The needs of older drivers are being ignored in favour of high-tech features that attract younger buyers, according to a new U.S. survey by RDA Group. “Boomer” drivers, those 60 and older, want manufacturers to design vehicles that are more user-friendly for them.
“Historically, automakers have found targeting the needs of the younger generation to be more exciting than thinking about developing new features and innovations to address the needs of an aging car buyer,” said Jim Thomas, senior vice-president of RDA Group. “What tends to be overlooked is that people 60 and older make up over 50 million people in the U.S. and represent almost 40 per cent of all new-vehicle buyers.”
Topping the list of 500 needs were those related to unintended acceleration and greater fuel efficiency in the survey overall. More detailed findings raised the question of whether automakers are paying enough attention to the unmet needs of buyers in unique demographic groups like Boomers and women, as well as those driving hybrids.
The study found that drivers 60 and older are particularly concerned about their safety and the safety of others around them, visibility while driving, and the ability to get in and out of vehicles comfortably.