U.S. Postal Service asks Floridians to stop crashing into post offices

The U.S. Postal Service has taken the unusual step of releasing a set of helpful tips to help reduce the number of drivers in Florida who have been crashing their cars into post offices. This year so far, eight drivers have crashed into post offices in Central Florida alone.

Local ABC affiliate WWSB7 reports that the tips include, "Avoid distracted driving; Proceed slowly and carefully when pulling in, and backing out, of parking spaces; Visibly check to see whether your foot is on the gas pedal or the brake pedal," and "Visibly check to see if the vehicle is in Park, Reverse or Drive."

The USPS says the two most common causes of such accidents are when drivers step on the gas instead of the brake pedal and when the driver accelerates thinking the vehicle is in reverse.

In June 2011, 89-year-old Phyllis Slaunwhite crashed her vehicle into a Florida post office, causing more than $250,000 in damages. Slaunwhite later told police she had blacked out and had no memory of the accident.

"It was just a big smash and everyone started shuffling toward the front of the building," local resident Frank Kubacki told the Tampa Bay Times. "There you go. Another Florida accident."

Florida is home to more than 15,000,000 drivers, nearly a third, or about 4 million, of whom are over the age of 60.

You can read a full description of the eight post office car accidents in Central Florida, via WWSB7:

9/17/2012; Punta Gorda. Customer pressed the gas instead of the brakes and ran into the
building, hitting a front pillar.

8/21/2012; Leesburg. Customer she said she was startled by something falling from the sky and accelerated into the post office lobby.

07/02/2012; Fruitland Park. Customer pulled into the wrong parking lot and was going to back out. He did not realize the vehicle was in drive and stepped on the accelerator, driving into the retail area.

6/14/2012; Lakeland MPO. Customer was sitting in vehicle talking to husband, put foot on the gas instead of the brake, ran over the curb and knocked down a light pole.

3/5/2012; Goldenrod. Customer drove vehicle into front lobby of PO. Customer
thought she was pressing brake pedal as she was parking in handicap parking spot in front of PO. Instead she pushed gas pedal and drove vehicle into one of the building's mail supports.

2/12/2012; Vero Beach-Tropic Branch. Customer failed to brake and drove vehicle
through postal lobby.

2/8/2012; Wimauma. Customer hit the gas pedal instead of the brake, hitting the
front of the Post Office. The front bumper of the car hit the brick portion of the building breaking the front glass windows.

1/3/2012; Indian Rocks Beach. Customer was leaving Post Office when foot slipped off the brake and hit the accelerator, sending car forward over the curb into the east wall of the Post Office. Car hit a cinder block wall, knocking down 2 sets of package lockers on the inside wall.