Storefront Crash Statistics Are Alarming

June 28, 2017

Vehicles crash into storefronts about 60 times each day across the United States. Such incidents cause about 4,000 major injuries annually, and about 500 people die each year. These findings were reported by the Storefront Safety Council. The organization was launched in 2011 to spread awareness about the dangers of such crashes. Many volunteers from a variety of backgrounds are part of the organization, and they are passionate about putting an end to the crashes and the risks that lead to them. From injury law professionals to perimeter security experts, the members are dedicated to finding solutions and letting Americans know about the ever-present risks of this preventable problem. Their passions have led to testing of newly developed risk-reduction practices and technologies. 

Statistics collected between 2013 and 2014 showed the most complete picture of this specific type of accident ever collected. State and federal agencies do not collect statistics for accidents occurring on properties such as strip malls, roadside stores and shopping centers. This makes the independently collected storefront crash information especially useful to researchers. New information is added as it is collected for measurement purposes. Researchers collected data on the following specific areas from 2013 to 2014:

  • Ages of all drivers involved in storefront crashes.
  • Stated causes of storefront crashes according to police documentation.
  • Categories of buildings that were struck by vehicles.
  • Names of businesses that were struck by vehicles.
  • Numbers of chain stores that were hit by vehicles.
  • Significant site types such as churches, medical facilities and others.
  • Reasons for crashes such as drowsy driving, assault, mechanical failure and reckless driving.

According to researchers, the main cause of storefront crashes was pedal error by drivers. For example, failing to step on the brake pedal fast enough or stepping on the gas pedal by mistake when parking were two common occurrences. Operator errors and driving under the influence were close behind as leading causes, and traffic accidents, intentional ramming and medical emergencies were less common. 

People who were between the ages of 20 and 29 made up the largest group of drivers causing these accidents. Nearly 55 percent of all storefront crashes were caused by people who were 50 years of age or older, and the remainder were caused by drivers under the age of 50. Retail stores were the most common types of stores to be involved in crashes. They were followed closely by convenience stores, restaurants and miscellaneous types of businesses. Offices and commercial buildings were less commonly hit by vehicles. Business owners everywhere must be aware of their risks and must know how to be prepared for a vehicle crash. To learn more about storefront safety, discuss your concerns with an agent.

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