Storefront Crashes, Bollard Posts, and the Need for Government Safety Regulations

Pasadena, CA – August 2011

“A driver pulled into a parking space in front of the convenience store I was about to walk out of, but her car didn’t stop. It popped right over the shallow car stop and equally shallow curb that separated the parking area from the store’s windows and glass doors, and then crashed into me at the moment I was pushing those doors open to leave. That 2008 event changed my view of parking spaces and the vehicles they’re supposed to contain. Now, when I see a row of parking spots in front of a building, my attitude is best expressed by a line from the late Allen Funt’s ‘Candid Camera’ television show sign-off: ‘Don’t be surprised if sometime, somewhere, someplace when you least expect it…!’” ~ Mark Wright (freelance writer, Rockville, Maryland)

Starbucks Coffee – Get Your Coffee With a Jeep:

Storefront Crashes See: Car Crashes Through Storefront (15 September 2011):

I’ve come to realize my concern over this issue is due to my familiarity with accident prevention and the many federal regulations pertaining to the dangerous occupations I have been involved in over many, many years: Truck driving and construction work. Many (most) people are unconcerned with accident prevention, because their occupations and places of employment are not dangerous to life and limb; therefore they have no awareness of the very real and imminent danger that storefront vehicle crashes present to them and their families. I have been (and am) considered odd, or insane, because of my intense concern with people’s safety and the need to prevent these totally preventable storefront crashes. But I continue to warn people of the danger anyway, if for no other reason than for the sake of their children, who have no way of knowing the danger they are in, as their parents should.

Car/Truck Accident

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Pocketbook:

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Accident Reports – Highways See:

Truck Driving Safety Video (weather related):

Crane accident

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – Construction Site Safety Regulations:

OSHA Pocket Guide to Construction Worksite Safety:

OSHA Fatal Facts – Accident Reports:

Construction Safety Video (on-site vehicles):

Bollard posts are everywhere in Washington, D.C. – Federal Government Buildings: Terrorism Security, Attack Prevention, and the Federal Government’s Increasing Isolation from the Public:

Life saving “bollard posts”:

Bollard posts


“It’s easy to believe that this kind of accident would never happen to us or to someone we know. The chances must be somewhere below whatever the odds are for, say, getting hit by lightning—just a freak occurrence, right? According to the National Weather Service, 241 people in the U.S. report being injured by lightning strikes every year (based on 2001-2010 averages). On the other hand, as I explained earlier, I managed to identify 584 vehicle-into-building crashes that occurred in the U.S. over the course of about a year, simply by using the admittedly-Mickey Mouse process of searching through online news reports until my patience ran out. You do the math. And be careful out there.” Mark Wright in: International Parking Institute Magazine – August 2011.


Recent examples of preventable storefront crashes:

(1 July 2011 – 9 September 2011) Temple, TX: Driver crashes into convenience store entrance (Temple Daily Telegram – September 9, 2011)

Boston, MA: Police car crashes into building (Fox News – September 9, 2011)

Wyandotte, MI: Medical condition suspected in 88-year-old driver’s crash—twice—into AAA insurance building; he then “accelerated across the parking lot, struck a pole and eventually his car came to a rest after striking a parked vehicle” (Oakland Press – September 7, 2011)

Kansas City, MO: Carjacking victim slams into police garage—with suspect clinging to car hood (K.C. Star – September 6, 2011)

Ashwaubenon, MI: 66-year-old driver crashes into UPS Store while trying to park; resulting fire causes strip mall’s evacuation (WBAY – September 6, 2011)

Jacksonville, FL: Two-car collision—including police cruiser—sends both into building (Florida Times-Union – August 31, 2011)

Beaumont, TX: 82-year-old driver injures three during crash into Cracker Barrel restaurant (KFDM – August 26, 2011)

Seattle, WA: Gunmen crash into building during police chase (KOMO– August 26, 2011)

Gallup, NM: One killed, three injured, when tanker truck crashes into Sun Loan offices (Navajo Times – August 25, 2011)

Fresno, CA: Stabbing victim dies after crashing into building (KMPH – August 24, 2011)

Pomona, CA: Truck driver falls asleep, veers off road into Caltrans building at 55 mph (NBC LA – August 24, 2011)

Stillwater, OK: Dump truck swerves to avoid collision, slams into Thomas Autos building (NewsPress – August 23, 2011)

Beaverton, OR: 32-year-old driver suffers seizure, crashes car into sushi restaurant (Beaverton P.D. [PDF] – August 22, 2011)

Pinckney, MI: 18-year-old driver runs stop, goes airborne, plows into Best Entertainment building (Livingston Daily – August 19, 2011)

Pittsburgh, PA: Driver plows into Pittsburgh Cultural Trust building, says foot got stuck on gas pedal (CBS – August 16, 2011)

Trenton, NJ: Carjacking victim sends SUV careening into building while she bails out (Trentonian – August 3, 2011)

Novato, CA: Two-car collision sends one through wall of soon-to-be Chipotle restaurant (Novato Patch – August 2, 2011)

Pasadena, CA: Driver injured after plowing all the way into a production company building (Crown City News – August 2, 2011)

Goldvein, VA: Two-car crash at gas station/convenience store damages pump, store entrance (Goldvein Vol. F.D. – August 2, 2011)

Clinton, MD: 39-year-old driver crashes SUV into dermatologist’s waiting room (Fox News + Gazette – August 1, 2011)

Seattle WA: Driver crashes over ledge into Big Fish Games building (Seattle PI – July 27, 2011)

San Diego, CA: Accidental acceleration suspected after driver crashes into vacant storefront (10News – July 10, 2011)

New York, NY: Two-vehicle collision sends one car through storefront of Sleepy’s mattress store, injuring two (Sheepshead Bites – July 2, 2011)

Beaver, PA: 85-year-old driver mistakenly pulled forward instead of backward, smashing through photo studio’s entrance and narrowly missing owner and customer (Beaver Countian – July 1, 2011)

Haverford Twp., PA: Driver confuses pedals, crashes into jewelry store (Mainline Media News – July 1, 2011)

Correction: The Santa Clarita, CA accident example (‘Driver crashes into gas station following police pursuit’) listed in June was mistakenly dated as having been reported July 17, but should have read ‘June 17…’

About ajmacdonaldjr

writer, author, blogger
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10 Responses to Storefront Crashes, Bollard Posts, and the Need for Government Safety Regulations

  1. leon Styhnes says:

    It’s kind of funny I came across this. I’m actuall doing research for a civil case I’m working, regarding this exact issue. I’m currently trying to find any information regarding the regulations and guidelines for these bollards. I have found none what so ever (pertaining to “drive-in-to-store” cases. I’ve found OSHA requirements, but nothing specifically pertaining to the placement, construction, or anything else regarding front of commercial property. If you happen to have come across anything, please feel free to let me know!

    • Mark Wright says:

      Leon, feel free to drop me an email if you’re still pursuing info on vehicle-into-building crashes: mark [at]

    • Chris Bakey says:

      Leon, did you ever find construction requirements as to placement, color or height requirements for bollards in front of stores? I fell over one a couple of weeks ago and sustained a relatively serious shoulder fracture and cartilage tear of the glenoid tissue. The bollard only came up to just below my groin area. I fell and fully landed on my shoulder. Lawyers think I should of seen it but I didn’t. If the bollard was higher and/or painted a brighter color other than the “handicap blue” it was painted, maybe I would have seen it. So, if have found any federal, state or any city laws dictating specifications for not only the drivers safety but pedestrian’s safety, I would appreciate if you could advise me to look..My name is Chris and my email address is Any information you have found would be very helpful.. Thank you

  2. Mark Wright says:

    A.J., thanks for featuring excerpts from my article on storefront/vehicle-into-building crashes in the International Parking Institute’s magazine — and for the attribution and links. Much appreciated. (I just discovered your blog.) -Mark

  3. Thanks Mark, I appreciate very much your having taken the time to write the article. I am trying to get a state law passed regarding bollard posts in PA now.

    • Mark Wright says:

      A.J., that effort to get a PA bollard law passed sounds interesting. Can you share any details at this point (bill #, sponsor, etc.)? Feel free to just email me about it if you’d prefer to keep it out of blog comments.

  4. charleneblake says:

    Toyota and Lexus vehicles…especially the Toyota Camry…have taken the lead in terms of sudden unintended acceleration-related crashes, particularly storefront crashes. Toyota vehicles have been found to have electronic glitches in the throttle system software (see Michael Barr’s finding at embedded gurus dot com) which can result in a full-throttle condition with an ineffective fail-safe. This is a serious state which can lead to fatality or significant injury. A Toyota owner recently won a big court case (Bookout V. Toyota) against Toyota which involved death and injury to the Toyota Camry occupants.

    In addition, Dr. Antony Anderson has analyzed the crash of a 2012 Toyota Highlander into a house. He has compared the recordings of the EDR (black box) with the video footage caught in the home security system. Dr. Anderson found discrepancies between the two. He found inaccurate recording of the EDR. This is significant because often the driver of the vehicle which has crashed into a building or storefront is INCRIMINATED based on the EDR alone. The driver is often braking at the time of the SUA initiation, but Toyota claims he/she is not doing so based in the EDR. In some cases prison time has resulted because the EDR results are accepted over the vehicle driver’s sworn statement. Toyota owners BEWARE of Toyota’s lack of support after an SUA event!

    Sudden unintended acceleration is NOT a problem related only to the elderly or women; it is not a driver error problem; it is not a simple stuck accelerator pedal or drifting floor mat issue. This is a DEADLY issue which the automakers, NHTSA, or the Department of Justice (I.e. Toyota’s criminal investigation) have not properly addressed. In fact, there is strong DENIAL that the problem exists at all. Yet…the crashes continue at an alarming rate now.

    Barriers placed in front of storefronts is a noble gesture. However, this is just a treat-the-symptom maneuver. The CAUSE must be recognized and fully addressed instead of being ignored.

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