Not all automobile crashes involve one vehicle running into another.
Sometimes a vehicle crashes into someone’s home or store – and in South Carolina it is happening more frequently.
In the past year, at least 14 vehicles have smashed into residences or businesses in the greater Charleston area alone. A half-dozen of those wrecks occurred within the past month.
According to the Charleston Post and Courier:
The most recent incident involved a Buick that plowed through the wall of a North Charleston home on Tuesday. A pet store, a pain management center and a barbecue joint also have been unwitting targets in recent weeks.
But why does it happen?
If you ask College of Charleston psychology professor Lisa Ross, driver distraction plays a large role in such collisions.
On her daily commute, Ross said she often sees people with their heads down and eyes looking everywhere but on the road as they fiddle with their phones, adjust their radios or attempt to balance some other multitasking maneuver.
“The number of tops of people’s heads I see as I am driving to and from work seems to be increasing,” she said. “Everyone seems to be looking down and at something else.”
Sometimes – as in a February incident where a Goose Creek man deliberately rammed his car into a home he shared with his fiancee – the collision is intentional.
Other times the driver has a medical condition. According to state records, medical conditions contributed to 1,804 drivers colliding into fixed objects along public roadways from 2008 to 2010. Thirty-three of those wrecks were fatal
Following are summaries of some of the reported incidents of cars colliding with fixed objects:
* An elderly man is hospitalized after his car jumps a curb and crashes into a home in North Charleston (October).
* A taxi driver crashes through a plate glass window at a Petco store on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston, coming to rest against the back wall. No people or animals are injured (October).
* A Chevrolet Impala crashes into the Trident Pain Center on Medical Plaza Drive in North Charleston after the driver accidently hit the gas instead of the brakes. One person inside the facility sustains a minor injury (October).
* A car crashes into a Family Dollar store on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard in West Ashley (October).
* A man in a pickup truck crashes into a barn wall at Bessinger’s Barbeque on Savannah Highway. The man, who has minor injuries, is charged with drunken driving (September).
* A sport utility vehicle crashes into a Londonderry Road home in North Charleston, taking out a living room wall (September).
* A Cadillac Escalade crashes through a wall of Anthony’s Seafood on Redbank Road in Goose Creek near closing time, taking out the front counter where the owner normally stands (August).
* A car crashes into Buck’s Pizza on Central Avenue in Summerville (August).
* A sport utility vehicle crashes into Medical University of South Carolina’s STAR Children’s Treatment Center on Iron Horse Road near Ladson. The facility’s receptionist receives injuries from flying debris (June).
* An 18-year-old James Island man is arrested after crashing his Buick into a Quail Drive home, causing $50,000 in damage to the house and $10,000 to the car. Nobody, including two children inside the sedan, is seriously hurt (May).
* A driver who thought the gas was the brake crashes his Dodge wagon through a brick wall at Pine Lakes Apartments on Cranford Road in Goose Creek (December 2011).
* A car careens across a lawn and crashes into a home on Resinwood Road near Moncks Corner. Two people are injured (December 2011).
* A man faces drunken driving charges after crashing his pickup truck into a home with three people inside on Columbia Drive in Ladson. No one is injured (October 2011).
Source: Charleston Post and Courier