On the right, Costco in London Ontario. A car accelerates backwards at high speed, passes between bollards and crashes directly into the entrance area. Two young children killed, severe injuries to their mom.
On the left, HEB in Houston Texas. A car accelerates backwards at high speed, passes between decorative fixtures and crashes through the glass doors and into the checkout area. A young mother is killed, numerous customers and employees injured.
Do not think that just because these cars came crashing into these stores backwards that this was any kind of a fluke, or a case of lightning striking twice. Such crashes are not uncommon. More that sixty times a day, a vehicle crashes into a store or office or restaurant. Costco has had numerous injury accidents where vehicles plowed into people at entrances and food courts; HEB is a very large grocery chain in Texas and the grocery industry has been on notice for some time that these accidents are frequent and that they seem to be increasing.
Whether the cars come crashing in backwards or forwards, the injuries are just as severe and the deaths are just as final. Both stores had installed decorative or functional devices in front to keep cars from pulling up parallel to the store to load and unload on the sidewalk -- in both accidents, the speeding vehicle simply passed between them because they were too far apart or too ineffective to act as a safety barrier.
Grocery store Trader Joe's has begun a program to protect ALL of their storefronts in the United States. Chains like WAWA and others in the convenience industry also protect their customers and employees. These companies have understood the problem in a way that Costco and HEB have not; effective barriers, installed and spaced correctly, save lives of customers and employees. They also save money -- if you don't believe me, ask any attorney.
Codes will change, design criteria will change, and the public and employees will be better protected. Until that happens, cars will keep crashing into storefronts and people will be injured and killed -- and it doesn't have to be that way.