Some Suffolk County commuters on their way to work last week got to see something very different on their morning drive: A car in Shirley veered off Mastic Boulevard at the corner of William Floyd Parkway, crossed the sidewalk and grass strip on the north side of the road, and crashed into the Checkers Restaurant near the drive-thru window. The crash left the vehicle partway through the wall and broke open a natural gas line, starting a small fire which was thankfully doused by local departments.
Fortunately, the crash happened around 8:30 in the morning, and the restaurant wasn’t yet open for the day. Only two employees were inside, and neither was injured in the crash. The driver was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. William Floyd Parkway was closed for about an hour while the fire was put out and the wreck was cleared.
Cause Under Investigation
The driver of the car reportedly told the first officers at the scene that his brakes had failed. We can’t know what did or didn’t happen in this case, and the brakes might have been behind the crash—that’s true for about 10,000 crashes each year. But statistically speaking, it’s far more likely that the cause of the crash was human error.
According to a comprehensive study of crash data conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2015, some kind of error by the driver is the critical factor in about 94 percent of all motor vehicle crashes while only about 2 percent can be traced to a vehicle problem. For every mechanical failure (tires, brakes, steering, and so on) there are forty-seven crashes that trace back to human failure, be it speeding, operating under the influence, distracted driving, or some other mistake—such as stepping on the gas instead of the brake.
Building Crashes: Shockingly Common
It’s true that most Long Island drivers probably haven’t seen a car sticking out of the side of a building before, but you might be surprised to learn how often crashes like this actually happen. According to the Storefront Safety Council, which tracks this specific problem, somewhere in America a vehicle crashes into a building about sixty times every day, leading to around 3,600 injuries and nearly 500 deaths each year.
Just on Long Island this year, there have been several similar crashes, and not everyone involved has escaped injury. A July building crash in Patchogue sent the driver and five others to the hospital. Another Patchogue crash, in September, saw the driver of an SUV plow into a building and then flee on foot. In another October crash in East Islip, a woman died when her car left the road and crashed into a building.
Long Island Car Accident Lawyers
Car crashes are an unfortunate fact of life, injuring more than 2.4 million and killing more than 30,000 in the United States each year. By some estimates, these crashes run up a cost of more than $1 trillion in property damage and medical expenses.
If you’ve been in an auto accident, you understand the work involved and the problems they cause, from filling out the correct insurance claim forms to physical rehabilitation after an injury to the bills that begin piling up because you’re unable to work. Having an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney in your corner as you work to recover damages from the driver responsible for your misfortune is an important part of putting your life back on track.
Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP are experienced Long Island car accident lawyers who will fight hard for you, every step of the way. Give us a call at 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or complete the contact form below to schedule a free meeting to go over your case.