When my son was 3 years old, he was run over by an 84-year-old driver who said he thought he hit a dog. That was 27 years ago, and even though Ryan survived a traumatic brain injury, for years, I refused to talk about it. But through the Independent Transportation Network, I have spent all of my working life since that day in 1988 trying to solve the underlying transportation problem that caused the tragedy: inadequate transportation for older people.
My family is far from the only family that’s suffered as a result of this problem; older drivers have the highest fatal crash rate of any group except teenagers. Since 3 out of 4 older Americans live in rural and suburban communities that lack the density for traditional mass transit, most have limited transportation options that could otherwise help keep them safe and mobile. And the problem grows steadily, as 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day for the next 17 years. By 2030, more than 70 million Americans will be aged 65 or older.