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Western New York's car-into-building problem in map form

Tuesday's news of a 90-year-old driver smashing into the patio of Kostas Restaurant, a Greek eatery on Hertel Avenue, was just the most recent reminder of a troubling trend.

The Google map at the bottom of the page, created by Cynthia Van Ness of BuffaloResearch.com, pinpoints all of the car-into-building crashes in Western New York since 2006, with a few stragglers dating back to 1995.

The list now exceeds 200 collisions, a mind-boggling number for just a decade -- that's roughly 20 per year, or one every 18 days.

As this WIVB report from February 2014 indicates, the controversial Schwabl's crash sparked Van Ness' interest in documenting each instance, and the author has been diligent in updating the map ever since.

Although Western New York seems to experience an inordinate number of these collisions, a Risk Management Magazine report from fall 2014 notes that over 60 car-into-building crashes happen daily in the United States.

A quote from Rob Reiter's report suggests a bleak future: "In 2012, there were about 23 million licensed drivers above the age of 70. By 2025, the number of drivers over 85 will have more than doubled. These drivers are the most prone to the types of errors resulting in vehicle-into-building crashes, so there is likely to be a corresponding upswing in these types of accidents."

Hover over the map below to see the locations, the dates in which cars crashed into buildings and a short capsule describing the incident.

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