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Tesla for 80 year old?

Charliek

Member
Oct 20, 2017
109
70
Vriginia
My aunt is 91 and still drives ( albeit less). We got her a 2 yr lease in case she felt she was done with driving or could just keep getting a new lease . she is very comfortable in her chevy equinox ( the suv is very easy to get in an out of- that was a big factor) , push the "push to start" was a small confusion in the beginning now she reminds me that she has walkup to unlock feature when I drive it. a lot of the other functions she does use are very standard and "intuitive" . she likes the lane keeping reminder and the blind spot monitor. That being said the Stalk and button orientation on my 2017 MS confuses my kids when they drive it. and I think a lot of the " features" we take for granted she would just not use. get a sense of how safe they are in what thye drvie now. I'll be able to use FSD to take me places when I turn 91 ( with some intervention :) ) .......
 

ARKEBUS

Member
Mar 15, 2019
5
-1
United States
In a sense a Tesla is lower tech than any gas fueled car. No engine, ignition, gas, oil, radiator or tranmission to deal with. With a key fob and walk away lock enabled it is very simple to drive. Turn on all the warnings and you have just about the safest available vehicle.
 

Onabeach

New Member
Apr 13, 2021
3
0
wi
I'd go to the Turo website and see if there are any Teslas for rent near their house. Then you can rent it for them for a few days and see if they can handle it. Other than that, if they are going to buy a new car anyway, most of them have a lot of tech now as standard equipment, so that should be consideration also.
Do you mean Truro MA? Yes, very close to them. What website were you refering to? It would be great if a dealer or business that handles Teslas could rent them one.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,178
9,039
Riverside Co. CA
Do you mean Truro MA? Yes, very close to them. What website were you refering to? It would be great if a dealer or business that handles Teslas could rent them one.

No, they ment "Turo, the car sharing company":

 
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smartypnz

Supporting Member
Jan 23, 2013
2,046
2,180
Monterey Peninsula
I think Musk already answered this question. After the recent screen 'improvements'..... if ya can't read the screen - you're too old. Elon doesn't seem concerned with the complaints about the new 'improvements' !!!
 

wws

Member
Aug 11, 2014
930
949
Northern California
Completely agree. While some of the driver assistance (and other) features on new cars can be confusing, the basic car functionality remains mostly the same as it has for the last couple of decades; a gas pedal that works the same, brake pedal, PRNDL gear selector, etc. If you can drive a car made in the last 30 years, you'll do fine in any of these new cars, as long as the advanced features aren't needed.

But a Tesla is a completely different animal.

To the OP:

I don't agree with stereotyping older people in such a way as "is a Tesla appropriate for an 80 year old driver?" as it is very dependent on the individual. I know a few 30 year old drivers I wouldn't want to see get a Tesla, yet my 91 year old Father would take to it immediately.

This.

Some years ago, my mother was actually interested in buying a Model S 60, and very excited about doing so. She was in her early '80s at the time. For various practical reasons, she ended up buying a Lexus instead. Had she bought the Model S, I have no doubt she could have easily handled it. A couple years ago she moved to a high-rise senior-oriented condo where she has little need for a car. She uses various ride sharing services now for medical appointments and so on. Gave the Lexus to my sister and hasn't driven since.

Gal across the street from me is in her mid-'70s and has a Model S 75D. She is quite happy with it.
 
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RedModel3

Member
Feb 19, 2016
390
405
United States
It's a big expense and a big decision for them, so the best thing would be to try to get them to test drive a 3 or Y and let them make that decision. You may be surprised. As for what others are saying about the instant torque, there is always "chill" mode. I can see where this could be a great car for older drivers, as long as they want to get used to the controls.
 

wwu123

Member
Apr 11, 2017
359
314
Silicon Valley, CA
Bah, my 80+ year-old mother had one of the first Model 3's in Vegas, so been driving it for about 2.5 years now. It's fine, you don't need to be tech-savvy to just drive a Tesla, at the end of the day it drives like a car. I was with the for the first three days, and 50% of it was just getting used to the driving style of a different car - turn radius, acceleration and braking, blind spots. That said I think I set her profile to Chill, Low Regen, Creep Mode on in the beginning to better mimic a typical automatic Honda, and it may still be set that way - but now that she's used to the car, I'm sure she'd be able to have those settings changed without issue. She and my even older father also made one 1500+ mile road trip through the desert to visit me with no issues, Superchargers and all.

Here are the main pluses and minuses that I think might matter pertinent to their age:
-power and acceleration - as others did mention, there is a lot more here than might be safe. I do think one gets used to it, but again I did set it to Chill initially.
-Creep mode - at a stop is the car is more like a manual than automatic, she was letting her foot off the brake at some stops because an automatic will keep the car still on an upslope. So the Model 3 was slowly rolling backward at a few stops without her really noticing. I'm sure she would've adapted without the Creep mode soon enough though.
-Autopilot - I ordered EAP at the time, because her main interest was having the car do the lane changes more safely for her, and I do think it will do that. That being said, in the first days she was gripping the wheel so hard she was pulling the car out of Autopilot very easily. She did say she doesn't really use Autopilot lanekeeping anymore, only the TACC (cruise control) - but I think as she gets older it may keep her able to safely drive for much longer)
-not pumping gas. She hates pumping her own gas, so this is great. I had a 14-50 put in at home, and plugging in every night was easy to learn, just had to learn to push it in firmly (first few times it charged at half amperage because it wasn't in fully)
-low seats - I can see it is a bit difficult for my dad to get in and out because the seats are pretty low to the ground, but I'm sure he's figure out the easiest way to get in and out.
-Superchargers - the issue is, she doesn't parallel park or back into parking spots anymore, and most Superchargers require you to back in. At home, she never needs to Supercharge. I figured on road trips, other friendly Tesla drivers would back the car in if they needed help. They managed fine on their one road trip, esp most Superchargers on road trips are not that crowded, so they picked ones that had empty stalls alongside and backed in OK.
-24-hr monitoring - using a third-party logger, I can keep track of where they are, when they charge, 24x7. That's reassuring to make sure they're never stuck, and to be able to direct help if they ever are. I even sent directions and destinations to their car in realtime from my phone's Google maps while they were in the middle of their road trip, for example to point them to a Supercharger more optimal for their route.
 
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CameraJim

Member
Jan 29, 2021
49
99
West Chester, PA
As an 80-year-old Tesla driver, I feel bound to speak up for my age group, the pre-WW II models.

My wife and I love our car and don't find it at all intimidating. Of course, she spent her career in IT and I've always been an early tech adopter. Meanwhile. we know some people our age and even younger who would find it hard to adapt to this computer-centric system. Age ia an attitude, not a number. Arthritis disagrees a bit, but you get my drift.

Meanwhile, the Model 3 is just about the safest car on the road, due more to physical design than any tech features like a blind spot monitor or birds-eye view. Having a low center of gravity and not having an engine to thrust back into the cabin in a crash saves lives more than the gimmicks. So, if you can get your sister and her husband over the interface hurdle, you might keep them alive a bit longer in a Tesla.
 

Candleflame

Active Member
Mar 9, 2015
2,650
1,223
QLD, Australia
Hi Everyone,

Is a new Tesla model 3 an appropiate car for an 80 yo couple? My sister was just involved in an accedent where she fell asleep and she and her husband need a new car. I tried to convince them to stop driving but they will not consider that option. Since Tesla is about the safest car to drive they are considering it.
But of course they are very high tech averse and can barely manage thier phones. The nearest Tesla dealer is 150 miles away. I am even further away. Can a new Tesla be set up and delivered to them that would not need alot of additional tweeking and service? How steep would the learning curve be for them?

Thanks for your input.

if you are 80 years old you should only really have a manual car to limit damage you can cause to other people. you definetely dont want to have 0 to max torque car when you have the reaction time of a sloth.
 

MikeyC

Member
Aug 19, 2019
245
462
Florida
I'm 56 and I worry that I'm too old for the car.

I'm only 2 years younger than you. I worry more about people younger than us: it being too much car for someone younger! It takes longer than most people think to develop a respect for cars with this level of performance. If I had this car when I was under 30, I'd probably still be in jail. ;)

Mike
 

BrianBigNFun

Giver of snark
Mar 31, 2021
138
207
North Wales PA
I'm only 2 years younger than you. I worry more about people younger than us: it being too much car for someone younger! It takes longer than most people think to develop a respect for cars with this level of performance. If I had this car when I was under 30, I'd probably still be in jail. ;)

Mike
Yeah my 19 year old has been begging to drive mine. So glad I put in a pin code to drive
 
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Needsdecaf

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
1,043
1,210
The Woodlands, TX
In a sense a Tesla is lower tech than any gas fueled car. No engine, ignition, gas, oil, radiator or tranmission to deal with. With a key fob and walk away lock enabled it is very simple to drive. Turn on all the warnings and you have just about the safest available vehicle.

There is tech of the actual drivetrain and tech of operating the vehicle. In terms of operator interaction, any Tesla is about as far outside of the mainstream as a vehicle exists right now.
 

PerfectNumber

Member
Mar 29, 2021
60
40
Peyton, Colorado
I'm only 2 years younger than you. I worry more about people younger than us: it being too much car for someone younger! It takes longer than most people think to develop a respect for cars with this level of performance. If I had this car when I was under 30, I'd probably still be in jail. ;)

Mike
After the test drive I know exactly what you mean. My dad was in his early 60's when he bought a 5.0 Mustang. I was in the Army at the time and in my 20's. I asked him if I could drive the car. Without thinking I roasted the tires multiple times, came home, and immediately found out I was walking the rest of my leave.
 
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bjrosen

Member
Apr 19, 2019
94
87
Westford MA
Everyone is missing the point. The women in question has already had an accident where she fell asleep at the wheel. She shouldn't be driving at all. This isn't about 80 year olds in general, it's about someone with mental decline. It happens at different ages for different people, my paternal grandmother lived to be 102 and never lost her marbles but my mother and her mother both developed Alzheimer's in their late 80s and the way we found out about my mother's is when she had a car accident. If FSD worked then it would be a solution but it's still years away from being Level 5. Parenthetically I bought FSD for my car not because I thought they would get close to true self driving in the next few years but because I wanted to contribute to it's development so that it is ready when I'm 80, I'm 66 now.
 

Candleflame

Active Member
Mar 9, 2015
2,650
1,223
QLD, Australia
Everyone is missing the point. The women in question has already had an accident where she fell asleep at the wheel. She shouldn't be driving at all. This isn't about 80 year olds in general, it's about someone with mental decline. It happens at different ages for different people, my paternal grandmother lived to be 102 and never lost her marbles but my mother and her mother both developed Alzheimer's in their late 80s and the way we found out about my mother's is when she had a car accident. If FSD worked then it would be a solution but it's still years away from being Level 5. Parenthetically I bought FSD for my car not because I thought they would get close to true self driving in the next few years but because I wanted to contribute to it's development so that it is ready when I'm 80, I'm 66 now.
indeed.
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
1,525
1,010
Syracuse, NY
Hi Everyone,

Is a new Tesla model 3 an appropiate car for an 80 yo couple? My sister was just involved in an accedent where she fell asleep and she and her husband need a new car. I tried to convince them to stop driving but they will not consider that option. Since Tesla is about the safest car to drive they are considering it.
But of course they are very high tech averse and can barely manage thier phones. The nearest Tesla dealer is 150 miles away. I am even further away. Can a new Tesla be set up and delivered to them that would not need alot of additional tweeking and service? How steep would the learning curve be for them?

Thanks for your input.
No. From what you described, a Tesla would not be a good fit for them. A Toyota Camry or RAV4? Something with the safety features all included.
 

jbcarioca

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2015
5,163
24,315
No. From what you described, a Tesla would not be a good fit for them. A Toyota Camry or RAV4? Something with the safety features all included.
@bjrosen just above makes the point. In these days of Uber, etc getting around us easy. Still, falling asleep while driving proves it is time to surrender the license. A fellow named Bob Hoover was doing aerobatic flight in his 90’s. A good friends of mine had Alzheimer’s disease at 53. He stopped driving the day he was diagnosed.

As several people have said it’s not. Years but it is all about ability.
I know a pair of technophobes who are happy Tesla drivers. It happens. Personally I’m amazed that such can be true, but it seems to be so.
 

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