vehicle crashed into building causing damage to store and merchandise

Vehicle Into Building Crashes: How to Prevent Them at Your Business

Did you know that a car crashes into a commercial building 60 times a day in America, injuring close to 4,000 people annually? 

One of the most tragic statistics coming from these kinds of accidents is that close to 500 people are killed every year in these types of crashes–people who are innocently walking in a store or sitting in a doctor’s office at any ordinary moment end up paying the unimaginable price for someone else’s mistake. 

These accidents affect all types of businesses and their buildings. According to the Storefront Safety Council

  • Retail stores make up 35% of these crashes
  • Restaurants come in at 28%
  • Commercial buildings make up 16% of these car accidents
  • Office spaces are involved 13% of the time

There is also definitive data on the reason for these crashes: 

  • 22% of these crashes are due to driver error
  • Pedal error causes the next 19% of these accidents
  • 18% of these crashes are in the “other” category
  • While DUI’s are responsible for another 16% of vehicle-into-building crashes

Here’s one reason why these accidents happen so easily. To give the most visibility to the front entrance of a business, most building designs are forward-facing towards the street or parking lot. While that kind of advertising is great for customer awareness, businesses facing the street leave their most vulnerable space, their entrance, wide open to vehicles breaching the safety of the building.

Most of these accidents are preventable, yet they are injuring and killing innocent customers, employees, business owners, and even uninvolved pedestrians. 

What Happens to a Business when there is a Vehicle-into-Building Crash

When a car crashes into your property, there is immediate chaos and danger. In a best-case-scenario, no one is injured, but the property itself will have damage–collapsed floors or walls, shattered glass windows, and destruction to any interior property–furniture, equipment, or inventory. 

After the initial event, most businesses will experience some sort of closure to restore and repair their business. For many property owners, this means a loss in rental income for months while they incur costs to rebuild their businesses. Some owners do not have the financial savings to withstand months without income. One misguided incident can devastate a previously flourishing company.

Thankfully, there are design elements created to reduce the risk of these accidents. Most of these elements can be added any time after the initial construction of the property.

Preventing Auto Collision Damage to your Business

Because car pedals can malfunction and drivers will always be capable of human error, one of the best ways to prevent auto collision damage to your property is to install design elements to help your building survive a crash with the least amount of damage. This will help to create preventative strategies to protect the most vulnerable spaces in your business. The good news is that many of these design elements are affordable and aesthetically pleasing.

  • If possible, re-design parking. Do not have nose-in parking; instead, re-paint parking spaces so that vehicles do not park straight into your entrance or sidewalls.
  • If you already have nose-in parking or it is a design requirement, you can install three-foot-tall barriers. The most effective barriers are steel bollards. Look for ASTM-approved steel bollards and make sure to research the best spacing for your specific property. Make sure to protect ramps and pedestrian walkways as well as parking spaces.
  • Research and rethink the parking lot traffic flow. Make sure your customer drive aisles are moving in the right direction, and not directed towards your front entrance.
  • If you are building new construction, make sure to review the best practices for prevention page on the Storefront Safety Council’s website.

Midwest Comfort Homes Auto Collision Damage Restoration Services

If your business or property does experience a vehicle-into-building crash in the Kansas City metro area, Midwest Comfort Homes are specialists in auto collision restoration for retail properties and commercial businesses, board up services are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week, and guarantees to repair your business as quickly as possible to protect your investment. Our goal is to have as little downtime as possible and to get your property restored better than before.