In 2017, a man was waiting for a ride outside a 7-Eleven in Bensenville, Illinois, when a driver attempting to park hit the gas instead of the brakes, pinning him against the storefront. The man’s injuries were so severe, he lost both legs.
Now, 7-Eleven will pay him a $91m settlement.
That may sound strange, considering it was the driver who injured him. But the case revealed just how often such crashes occur, per NBC Chicago.
Basically, every day
Power Rogers LLC, the law firm that represented the man, found that over a ~15-year period, 6,253 drivers crashed into 7-Eleven storefronts in the US. That’s ~1 per day.
This isn’t strictly a 7-Eleven problem. The Storefront Safety Council, a group of volunteers who raise awareness about vehicle-in-building crashes, maintains a database of them. It found:
- Each day, 100+ drivers crash into storefronts nationwide
- Every year, 16k people are injured and 2.6k are killed
- 9% were “ram raids” — when someone crashes into a store on purpose to rob it
Some stores, including the Bensenville 7-Eleven, have been hit multiple times. A Portland, Oregon, 7-Eleven has been hit 13 times.
Businesses can’t control drivers…
… but they can install bollards — heavy-duty vertical posts — to stop cars from crashing into their storefronts.
A 7-Eleven spokesperson said that the store followed local building codes and ordinances, but the judge decided it should have also installed bollards, per CBS.
Storefront Safety Council co-founder Rob Reiter told The Hustle that the average cost of installation is $700-$900 per bollard.
But as Storefront Safety points out, they have to be quality bollards or they won’t stop the car — which is what happened when a truck crashed into a Dollar Tree in Maine.
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