Trying to stem the “silver tsunami”

June 25, 2014

We read your June 15 editorial about the high frequency of elderly drivers crashing into stores and buildings with great interest. This is in fact a truly national problem in part because of the increasing number of drivers over age 70 who are driving more miles for more years later in life.

In fact, in our recent article titled, “The Elephant In The Parking Lot,” we noted that there are more than sixty crashes per day into stores, restaurants, offices, and pedestrian areas. Each year, as many as 485 people are killed in such storefront crashes.

Our research shows that young drivers are as apt to have such accidents as drivers over age 70. However, the sheer demographic numbers in the “silver tsunami” are such that simple pedal error accidents, to which elderly drivers are more prone to than any age group, will continue to increase for decades to come.

We are unable to find any public health risk with this scale of injuries and fatalities, and related costs, that is so little studied and so unregulated.

Rob Reiter

Pomona, Calif.

Reiter is the co-founder of the Storefront Safety Council, an advocacy group.


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