The insurance industry cringes about risks associated with tornadoes and lightning and earthquakes, and most Americans would agree that these are indeed hazards. Though last year no Americans were killed in earthquakes, 23 people were killed when struck by lightning and 55 were killed by tornadoes. And sky diving and piloting your own aircraft are generally agreed to be risky activities; in 2011 21 sky divers were killed, and 378 pilots and passengers died in crashes of private aircraft.
But compared to all of these better known risks, it turns out going to the store or sitting and eating a fast food burger or drinking a cup of $4 coffee can be can be even more dangerous. We believe that at least 500 Americans died last year when a vehicle crashed through the doorways, windows, or walls of stores, restaurants, office buildings and strip malls. That’s more fatalities than all of these better known risks combined. Employees, shoppers, customers, and people just entering or leaving through front doors are killed every day when a vehicle leaves the street or parking lot and crashes into a commercial building. As many as 3600 people were injured last year – and the toll keeps rising.
See our latest releases on updated 2014 statistics HERE.
What do you think? Of course, millions go into stores and shopping centers and commercial buildings every day, so this discussion is not about a comparison of rates of such accidents. This is a discussion about the perceptions of the public versus the very real toll of vehicle-into-building crashes. After all, retailers and property managers and business owners know that there is a very real risk of storefront crashes every day because they suffer through them every day -- do you?