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Are Storefront Crash Barriers Required in Baltimore?


Due to the high number of storefront crashes in Baltimore, many people are asking an important question: Why don’t these establishments simply install barriers? It seems like an easy fix, especially after a business owner becomes aware that storefront crashes are especially common on their premises. Are there any laws that force property owners to install these safety features? If not, why not?

Storefront Crashes Are More Common Than People Realize 

According to the Storefront Safety Council, more than 100 vehicles crash into storefronts every day in the United States. This leads to tens of thousands of injuries and over 2,500 deaths annually.

The Storefront Safety Council is attempting to address the issue by providing property and business owners with free resources. However, other organizations are making this issue even worse by selling questionable equipment. There are no standards that ensure quality for barriers. Anyone can sell these products, even if the barriers completely fail to stop low-speed collisions.

Modifying the Building Code in Baltimore: A Potential Solution? 

The obvious solution would be to modify the Building Code in Baltimore. If the Building Code includes requirements for barriers at certain businesses, storefront crashes could be reduced.

An obvious first step would be the mandatory installation of barriers in places where crowds tend to congregate. These might be entrances to large shopping centers, hardware stores, Walmarts, and so on. Not only would this prevent accidents, but it could also prevent intentional ramming attacks.

In the future, barriers could be viewed in the same way as any other piece of safety equipment. This might include fire sprinklers, smoke detectors, first aid kits, and so on.

 There Are No State or Federal Laws that Mandate Storefront Crash Barriers 

Unfortunately, there are no state or federal laws that require businesses to put up storefront crash barriers. This is despite numerous calls to create such laws from various safety initiatives and programs. In Baltimore, property owners are not legally required to install these “bollards.”

However, there may be a financial incentive to install barriers. A property owner could potentially lower their insurance premiums after installing the barriers, as this reduces the chance of injury and damage. Even if you take insurance out of the equation, it makes financial and logical sense to protect your storefront from vehicle damage.

Storefront Crashes Can Lead to Personal Injury Lawsuits in Baltimore 

While there are no laws that force business owners to install storefront crash barriers, these safety devices can prevent personal injury lawsuits. If someone suffers a serious injury after a storefront crash, they could potentially sue the property owner for negligence. They could argue that the property owner became aware of the threat from crashing vehicles and yet did nothing to address the issue. If you want to explore this possibility further, book a consultation with the Baltimore personal injury lawyers at Furman Honick Law.




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