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

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
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
  • 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.

    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

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

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
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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

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,
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
or follow us on Twitter @AARPdsp.


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The Hartford
Julia Zweig, 860-547-5355