100 times per day in the U.S., a vehicle crashes into a storefront, commercial or government building, or non-residential structure. Over 36,000 times per year. Over 40% of these storefront crashes follow the familiar pattern of a low speed pedal error / driver error accident, where the driver is trying to park a vehicle in nose-in parking space right in front of the building.
Here is some surveillance video from a pharmacy in Lakewood New Jersey, documenting a storefront crash that took place right before Christmas. This crash is VERY typical -- driver approaches slowly, has to make a 90 degree turn to get into the parking space, pulls into the space and then instead of hitting the brake pedal to stop, mistakenly steps on the accelerator and moves forward. In this case, the car goes over the rubber wheel stop, over the ADA curb cut and onto the sidewalk, slamming into the glass windows of the building.
Here are some important lessons:
1) Pedal error accidents just like this one happen dozens of times every single day
2) Nose-in parking spots (ESPECIALLY ADA parking spots) pointed at a glass storefront are inherently risky and pose a known hazard to pedestrians, customers, and employees
3) Wheel stops are useless trip hazards which are of no value as a safety device
4) Given that such incidents are a common and foreseeable hazard, the failure to provide some form of safety barrier to protect the public might increase liability for property owners and business owners.
Storefront safety is not rocket science, and prevention is always cheaper than the cost of repairs and medical charges for the injured. 16,000 people are injured and 2600 more are killed in storefront crashes in the United States every year, in what are usually preventable accidents. Watching this video, it is hard to see why any property owner would want to gamble every day with the health and safety of the public.