A woman was injured seriously recently when a vehicle crashed into her home as she sat at her kitchen table. The Orlando Sentinel reports the 61-year-old motorist reportedly failed to maneuver her vehicle properly at a curve in the road, causing her to continue straight into the residential structure. The 67-year-old resident was pinned and immobile until firefighters arrived to remove her.
Although such incidents tend to be reported as “freak accidents,” the reality is they occur with startling regularity. Home and auto insurer Ameriprise research reveals there are an average of 60 incidents daily wherein drivers crash their vehicles into retail outlets, homes, office buildings and restaurants. These incidents result in an average of 500 deaths annually, not to mention thousands of injuries. In fact, these types of car accidents claim more lives than lightning, tornadoes and earthquakes – combined. Economic losses for these collisions is estimated to be about $200 million every year, which includes both the cost for personal injury and wrongful death claims, as well as those for property damage.
Causes of these incidents are varied, but there are several trends the insurer has noted in the claims it reviewed. The three most common causes were:
- Pedal Error – 28 percent. (Of these, 57 percent were caused by foot slip and 43 percent by accidentally stepping on the wrong pedal.)
- Operator Error – 28 percent. (This would include incidents like those recently reported by the Sentinel.)
- DUI – 18 percent.
Other causes included traffic accidents, medical incidents and burglaries. Continue reading