Authors: Jenny Zhan (McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) , Brenda Vrkljan (McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)
Vehicle design features that enhance safety can mitigate older driver frailty and declines in ability. We have investigated the older driver’s perception of vehicle safety and how this influences their vehicle purchase. Focus groups (n = 27) were conducted among drivers aged 70-90 in South-Western Ontario. Questions focused on participants’ perceptions of vehicle safety and design, the vehicle purchasing process, and resources used therein. Participants emphasized the importance of a few standard safety features (e.g., seatbelt, reliable brakes) but de-emphasized the role of safety on their purchase decisions. Safety was superseded by other purchasing considerations, most notably price. Stressful dealer-buyer interactions and poor congruency of information created barriers. Purchasing aids for older drivers should be developed that speak to the spectrum of safety technologies and emphasize the relationship between safety and other design features on driving ability.
How to Cite: Zhan, J. & Vrkljan, B. (2011) “Exploring Factors that Influence Vehicle Purchase Decisions of Older Drivers: Where Does Safety Fit?”, Driving Assessment Conference. 6(2011). doi: https://doi.org/10.17077/drivingassessment.1384