Too often, car washes across the country are the scene of random crimes. Shooting deaths, robberies and other altercations sometimes land businesses in the news for all the wrong reasons — especially when they aren’t at fault. But there are some common pitfalls and dangers at the car wash that owners should keep an eye on for employee and customer safety.
A New Zealand website recently reported on an accident at a local car wash in which a woman who left her bike rack on the back of her vehicle became caught up in the automated brushes. The car wash brushes grabbed onto the bike rack and lifted the car from the ground, suspending it in midair. The woman panicked and began honking her horn until employees could come to her rescue.
The owner of that car wash says accidents are more common than you might think. He told Taranaki Daily News that another man once hit the gas instead of the breaks and drove through a glass panel.
Sometimes the customers aren’t at fault in the accidents that take place. In Portland, Oregon, a bicyclist was forced to ride along wet pavement where soapy water ran off from the local car wash. He crashes his bike and hurt his hip and elbows. The man was recently awarded nearly $500,000 in damages after a jury said the car wash was at fault and should have kept the sidewalk area safe for pedestrians and bikers. The Oregonian reports that a judge upheld the ruling.