Recently, a garage door specialist was summoned to an accident site to quickly replace a door that had been smashed by an elderly driver. The remarkable fact is that the specialist had all the materials in his truck to complete the job at 2 am on a Sunday.
The commotion started when an elderly couple was attempting to reverse out of their driveway. They closed the garage door remotely, and proceeded down the driveway in reverse. For some reason, the driver, 82, thought the car was about to go into a ditch on the side of the driveway. He quickly put the car in Drive, abruptly crashed through the garage door and struck a support beam. The fire department was called to help the couple escape from their car. A safety contractor was called to install a temporary steel column to stabilize the structure. Part of the floor had to be shored up as well. The garage door specialist then arrived and replaced the demolished door in about two hours, rendering the house secure. However, the garage and portions or the attached house are a mess and will require some nifty interior decorating ideas.
The door installer was amazed at the publicity he received – he gave interviews to local TV and print reporters, and taped a segment for NBC’s Today Show. The elderly couple was so grateful to everyone who helped that they made a sizable donation to the Firefighters Fund, and handed over cash awards to the engineer and the garage door installer. The installer said he would donate the award to the Alzheimer’s Foundation.
Goodwill is an essential factor in any company’s marketing plan, and the kind of positive publicity afforded to the garage door supplier cannot be quantified. The story also highlights a societal problem that is bound to get worse: elderly drivers who shouldn’t be driving anymore. With the aging of the baby boomers, more and more drivers will be experiencing physical and/or mental decline that should make them think twice before getting behind the wheel of a car. Unfortunately, local governments are loathe to take away a citizens driving rights due to age, unless a proven danger (like partial blindness) exists. Pressure groups fight for the rights of the elderly, and it’s hard to generalize on when a driver’s license should be revoked due to age. Clearly, this is a complex question and should be studied more closely. Happily, no one was hurt in this incident, and the garage will soon look as good as new.