September 8, 2018

10-Year Accident Anniversary: I Was Fortunate

When the 10-year anniversary of my accident rolled around last month, I celebrated with, among other things, a trip to the 7-Eleven where I was hit. It still has no bollards or other barriers out front, and thus it's still a dangerous spot, but I went inside anyway and bought a lottery ticket. Call it gallows humor, I guess.

Nope, I didn't snag the winning ticket, unfortunately, but no matter: I feel like just having been able to get through the experience a decade ago and recover normal functioning was like winning one of life's real lotteries. I remain grateful to all who made my recovery possible.

I was also fortunate to connect with safety expert Rob Reiter and serve as a co-founder of the Storefront Safety Council. Rob's little team has done a great job of tracking vehicle-into-building accident stats. You can find them here, but I'll briefly spotlight one in particular: incidents by cause (see chart).

It's quite an eye-opener to understand what factors lead a driver to go crashing into a building—and whomever might be standing in the way. Why? Because any of us could make these mistakes. It's tempting to point the finger at certain age groups or other demographics, but you don't have to be over 70 to get confused or distracted and mess up big-time.

That's why it's so risky going to 7-Eleven, or any location that uses unprotected front-in parking where vehicles pull in toward the building. Will that car pulling in stop—or not? It only takes an instant to get the answer—and for your life to change if the car hits you. I found that out the hard way 10 years ago.

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