An elderly driver in Florida killed three people and seriously injured four others Sunday after she accidentally put her car in reverse while trying to pull forward into a parking spot, according to Fox 3.
Doreen E. Landstra, 79, was trying to navigate out of a parking spot after church services at the Sugar Creek Country Club when she backed up into a group of seven fellow churchgoers. She then jumped a curb, ran over some small trees and landed in a creek, partially submerging her vehicle. Neither she nor her passenger were injured, The Bradenton reported. One person died at the scene and two others died at area hospitals. The four injured are considered in serious condition.
Elderly drivers like Landstra aren't as dangerous on roads as teenage drivers, according to statistics, but there is the potential for a big problem in the coming years: The number of Americans over the age of 70 is set to explode, going from 28.5 million in 2011 and to 52.7 million in 2030, according to the U.S. Census. Statistics show that older drivers have higher crash rates, including higher fatal rates, especially after age 75.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found crashes involving the elderly have increased as of late. In 2012, drivers over 65 were involved in three percent more fatal crashes and had 16 percent more injuries than the previous year.