Cars in Buildings – Stats, Causes, Prevention, and Legal Consequences

February 1, 2018 | Crandall & Pera Law
Cars in Buildings – Stats, Causes, Prevention, and Legal Consequences

It is well known and understood that car crashes are a danger to drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicycle riders. Many of us hear of and sometimes witness the aftermath of such accidents on the roadways. However, fewer people are accustomed to hearing about and witnessing another type of car accident – the car incursion.

A very recent example involves an astonishing incident in which a Nissan sedan launched over a center raised median, crashing into the second floor of a dental office in Santa Ana, California. According to law enforcement, the driver acknowledged using narcotics.

What is a car incursion?

When any type of vehicle crashes into a building, whether it is a bank, hospital, restaurant, home, or retail storefront, it is referred to as an incursion. These can be the most startling and surprising types of car crashes – no person inside of a building expects to be threatened or hit by a motor vehicle. Although they seem rare, these incidents occur every day, leaving thousands injured and hundreds killed.

Causes of car incursion

The Storefront Safety Council, consisting of a number of experts in perimeter security and parking issues, has published statistics that may be surprising to some.

The data reveals that on average, about 60 times per day in the United States, a motor vehicle impacts a building structure of some type – examples include convenience stores, fast food restaurants, hospitals, grocery stores, residential homes, etc. Even more startling, in any given year, some 4,000 injuries to customers, employees, and pedestrians result from these crashes – and, some 500 are fatally injured.

Numerous factors can precipitate the loss of control of a vehicle and its subsequent impact into a building structure. Some of the clearly negligent causes producing these crashes include:

  • Driving while fatigued

  • Pedal confusion

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other controlled substances

  • Driving while distracted (texting, talking on cell phone, using GPS, etc.)

  • Speeding or reckless driving

  • Nose-in, perpendicular positioning of parking lot spaces to buildings

Other causes may not be due to negligence, but are nevertheless unfortunate, including:

  • Auto defects causing a vehicle or its components to malfunction or fail to respond to driver control

  • Defective design of parking lots or accompanying roads

  • Serious medical occurrences such as strokes, heart attacks, or seizures

  • Other debilitating medical occurrences such as hypoglycemic shock from diabetes, anaphylactic shock from an allergic to wasp or bee stings, or another health condition that causes sudden disorientation, severe pain, or unconsciousness while driving

Car incursions are not addressed by Kentucky’s or Ohio’s traffic laws specifically, due to the fact that these incidents usually result from statutory violations such as DUI, reckless driving, or speeding. If, however, such a crash occurs because of a defective auto part, defective design, or the negligence of a third-party, injury victims may have legal recourse to seek compensation.

Are you trying to recover physically from a serious car crash? If so, our skilled and experienced car accident attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law are able to protect your rights and fight for a favorable outcome in your case leading to the compensation you deserve. To get started with a free case evaluation, call our Ohio office at 877-686-8879 or out Kentucky office at 877-686-8879. Or, simply email us through our contact form.