Surprise Status Symbol: Hybrid Cars

The conventional wisdom about older car buyers is that they’re primarily motivated by price, durability and the ease of getting in and out of a vehicle – factors that translate into a big, bulky domestic sedan. But a new study shows that some automobile shoppers 60 and older are going green and buying hybrids because it boosts their self-esteem and image. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter Researchers, led by Jay Yoo of Baylor University, looked at the …

Morgan Shepherd, at 71, Breaks NASCAR Age Record

Updated July 15, 2013 Morgan Shepherd has become the oldest driver, at 71, to start a race in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series race. Shepherd started 41st in the 43-car field at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14, driving for Brian Keselowski Motorsports, and completed 92 laps of the 301-lap race before he pulled into the garage. The previous record was set by Jim Fitzgerald when he started the June 1987 Cup race at Riverside International Raceway at age 65. …

Are Automakers Overlooking the Real Buyers?

If you watch much TV, you’ll notice that most car commercials seem to be aimed either at twentysomethings in search of adventure and excitement or at parents with young kids. But automakers might be smarter to make more commercials resembling Lincoln’s recent spots featuring luxuriantly gray-haired Mad Men star John Slattery. That’s the upshot of a newly released study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, which finds that boomer drivers are the most likely of any age group to …

Car Talk – The Future of Driving Safety

Editor’s note. This is the first in a series from Ford that will talk about older drivers, technology and the future of transportation. Today’s post is by Mike Shulman, Technical Leader for Ford Active Safety Research. Like many fans of the NPR program Car Talk, I’ll miss the entertaining banter of brothers Ray and Tom Magliozzi (otherwise known as Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers). No one can turn a car calamity into comic relief quite like they can! The …

Look Before You Lock: Children and Pets in Hot Cars

On June 29, we broke a record in Washington, D.C.: 104 degrees Fahrenheit-3 degrees warmer than the high set almost 80 years ago. In fact, the first six months in 2012 have been the hottest in the mainland U.S. since temperature records began in 1895. While extreme heat can contribute to a variety of health issues for people of all ages, for children and pets, the danger is amplified in cars. Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle related …

The Takeaway: DriveLAB Taking Technology Cues From Older Drivers

On the Road: New technology aimed at making navigation easier for older drivers is in the works at England’s Newcastle University, where researchers have converted an electric car into a mobile laboratory for studying the challenges these drivers face. Tricked out with eye trackers, bio-monitors and other monitoring systems, the DriveLAB car””designed to pinpoint older drivers’ habits and stressors””is part of the UK’s Research Council’s nearly $20 million program to help seniors stay on the road.