Cars Crashing Into Storefronts is a Thing

Aftermath of Zadie's Bakery storefront crash, July 2019

We thought it a nice story for the upcoming Jewish high holidays when we read about a kosher bakery in Bergen County, New Jersey reopening, right in time for Rosh Hashana. Zadies Bakery, in Fair Lawn, had been out of commission since July, when a customer stepped on the gas instead of the brakes, crashing through the bakery storefront. Then we read that it was the third time in the past 15 or 20 years a car had crashed into the shopping center where the bakery is located.

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That’s when we began to wonder if crashing into storefronts is a thing.

Rob Reiter and Mark Wright are the co-founders of storefrontsafety.org and storefrontcrashexpert.com, where they write about the phenomenon of cars crashing into storefronts. The two note that of the crashes into buildings they researched between 2014 and 2017, 24 percent involved retail stores, 23 percent commercial buildings, and 19 percent restaurants, with the remaining storefront crashed including convenience stores, offices, and other non-residential structures.

Reiter and Wright say that the leading causes of storefront crashes are operator error and pedal error, 30 percent and 26 percent of all storefront crashes, respectively. Operator error is ususally about accelerating too much, speeding, or driving in the wrong gear. Pedal error is generally when the driver steps on the gas pedal instead of the brakes. And that is exactly what happened to Zadie’s Bakery.

It is interesting that a full 44 percent of all drivers involved in storefront crashes are 60 and older. We’re not saying the person who crashed into Zadie’s Bakery was elderly, but it seems a distinct possibility that consumers of kosher baked goods might be people over 60. The good news is that no one got hurt, making it a sweet new year, for all concerned.

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