Skip to content

Cars Crash into Buildings More Often Than You Might Think

On January 16, 2018, this happened:

(photo credit to Fox News)

Any time a car or truck crashes into a building, it’s a newsworthy matter because we think it doesn’t happen that often. As it turns out, we’re wrong about that.

The data shows that as many as 60 times each day in the U.S., a vehicle crashes into some type of structure such as a fast food restaurant, home, grocery store, hospital, bank, convenience store, etc. The results include over 4,000 injuries to employees, customers, and pedestrians, as well as at least 500 killed each year.

Common causes of car incursion incidents

Typically, the demographic of individuals involved in storefront car crashes include elderly, teen, distracted or drunk, inexperienced, and medically impaired drivers. There are several reasons why a driver may unintentionally crash a car directly into a building. These include:

  • Pedal confusion. This mistake occurs when the driver accidentally uses the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal. In 2016, pedal error accounted for 28 percent of car incursions into buildings. Often these crashes, when accidental, are caused by either the oldest drivers (76 years of age and above), or the youngest drivers (16 to 20 years of age), according to NHTSA data. Factors affecting all age groups when it comes to pedal confusion are driver distraction and inattention.
  • Driver error. This type of error can occur in various ways, including attempting to cut across traffic or texting while driving. Some 28 percent of car incursions fall into this category.
  • Drunk driving/ drugged driving. Committed with equal frequency as driver error, drunk driving also accounts for 18 percent of car incursions. The driver of the car in the picture above allegedly admitted that he had been high at the time.
  • Traffic accidents. A driver losing control of a vehicle in some type of traffic accident accounted for 11 percent of car incursions.
  • Medical emergencies. Some 8 percent of vehicle incursion collisions are attributable to medical emergencies such as leg numbness, heart attacks, seizures, black outs, and other illnesses experienced by the driver.
  • Police chases. High-speed police chases can be very dangerous and conclude with the vehicle crashing into a building. This occurs in approximately 7 percent of car to building crash scenarios.

Was the parking lot layout a culprit?

The Commercial Real Estate Development Association has concluded that parking lot layout is a significant factor influencing the occurrence of storefront crashes. In particular, “nose in” parking in which vehicle parking spaces are positioned perpendicular to the building increase the risk of these incursions.

Are you suffering due to injuries caused by a negligent driver? You can depend on our Chicago legal team at Gainsberg Law provide you with strong advocacy from start to finish. We will vigorously fight for the compensation you deserve. To request a free initial case evaluation, complete our contact form or call us today at 312-600-9585.

Related Articles