At least 60 times per day, cars crash into storefronts, restaurants, and businesses, sending vehicles into windows and front doors at road speeds. In fact, the Storefront Safety Council says over 4,000 people are injured and 500 people are killed each year from storefront car crashes. While many stores have safety barriers in front of them to prevent vehicles from hitting buildings, the regulations on these barriers are virtually nonexistent. Additionally, TODAY reports that there are no federal requirements for stores to have protective barriers in front of their businesses. This makes it even easier for careless drivers to run down roadblocks or to bypass sidewalks, endangering pedestrians and store workers alike.
Luckily, new technology is being developed that hopes to minimize storefront crashes. Traditionally, safety barriers in parking lots and in front of stores look like short yellow poles, but are basically steels pipe filled with concrete. Tests at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute show these barriers being knocked down like a bowling pin when hit by a car traveling at 20 mph, the speed of most parking lots.
Therefore, the latest design of storefront safety barriers use stainless steel in place of concrete. These improved car crash barriers last longer, don’t rust in extreme weather conditions, and require less maintenance and upkeep. When tested by the same car on the same track as the yellow concrete barriers, the stainless steel barriers completely stopped the vehicle, traveling at 20 mph. Even when tested at 30 mph, the stainless steel barrier barely flinched, not only preventing a car from hitting people inside a nearby store, but also keeping the vehicle from running over pedestrians walking near the barriers.
28% of storefront incidents are caused by operator error, with another 28% caused by pedal errors. Simple vehicle malfunctions often set drivers up for disaster, forcing them to lose control and crash into nearby stores. Speeding through the parking lot also may cause storefront crashes. Because these crashes can happen so easily, safety barriers are encouraged to help save lives. As new technologies develop, it is up to business owners to install preventative barriers to keep employees and customers on their feet.
Speeding and careless driving may lead to serious motor vehicle accidents. Storefront crashes are not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about an automobile accident, but happen more often than people think. It is important to pay attention at all times when driving, even if only driving in parking lots, and to slow down and watch out for pedestrians. People involved in storefront crashes are never expecting to be in danger while shopping for groceries or waiting for a dentist appointment. Modern safety barriers can help prevent car crashes from happening and may protect innocent bystanders from being injured or killed in a storefront car accident.
Speeding and careless driving frequently contribute to storefront car crashes. If you or someone you know has been injured in a automobile accident caused by a speeding driver, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. We fight for victims of speeding car crashes.