8,000 Storefront Crashes Documented By Discovery Evidence In A Chicago Lawsuit
More than 10 years ago, researchers at the Texas Traffic Institute at Texas A&M University came to a startling conclusion: Gas & Convenience stores in the United States experienced storefront crashes at a rate of as many as 20 times per day. Using data supplied by the Storefront Safety Council and evidence from lawsuits from around the country, Texas A&M felt so confident in the data and their results that they published an article called "Parking Is A Full Time Job" in which that startling statistic was cited. In the years since, the estimate of 20 times per day has become accepted -- at least no one ever published a counter argument or suggested a different figure for storefront crashes at C Stores. See: https://tti.tamu.edu/news/parking-is-a-full-time-job/
Now there is fully authenticated and documented data provided by 7-Eleven Inc. to a court in Chicago that listed 6,000 separate storefront crashes at stores nationwide. Coupled with our own research and data and including similar court ordered documentation in earlier lawsuits, we are now in possession of nearly 8,000 separate incidents where a vehicle crashes into a 7-Eleven store in the U.S. This data results in the surprising result that by its own data, 7-Eleven stores are struck 1.3 times per day. 500 times per year. Extrapolating the rate to all 155,000 gas & convenience stores in the U.S. and we get to 20 storefront crashes per day. Not hit the gas pumps. Not hit the Redbox machine. Not hit the ice machine or the propane tank exchange cage. Not hit a pedestrian in the parking lot. Those accidents would total many thousands more. This data constitutes 8,000 verified incidents where a vehicle crashes into a 7-Eleven store. Some of this data spells out in no uncertain terms the negligence and liability of 7-Eleven: we have analyzed the data, and found over 450 stores that had been struck by vehicles 3 times, almost 200 stores hit 4 times, and 130 stores hit more than 5 times. 1 store was struck 13 times! We will be writing more about this in the days to come. We have made some of this data available as PDFs below:
(1) 7-Eleven Discovery Documentation of Storefront Crashes
(2) 7-Eleven Discovery Documentation of Storefront Crashes
Imagine owning a store or running a franchise that has been hit 2 times by vehicles. Wouldn't you immediately go about protecting your employees or customers from another possible occurrence? Of course you would. But 7-Eleven chose not to -- with the result that something like 680 stores were hit 3, 4, 5 or more times! A company is clearly being negligent and clearly putting the public at risk when it fails to take corrective steps to prevent a known hazardous condition from causing injuries and deaths. Which is why courts make you reveal the truth in lawsuits -- and why liability can be so costly in these cases.
The convenience store industry has been on notice about the risk of storefront crashes for more than ten years -- with the release of this evidence, that notice has now become an urgent siren alerting all store owners and operators to protect employees and customers from this known danger.