You may not realize it, but parking lots are actually some of the most likely places for you to end up in a car accident.
In fact, 20 percent of all car accidents take place in parking lots — and they actually account for around 14 percent of damage claims and more than 200 deaths every year (including pedestrians in the lots who are struck by the moving vehicles).
What causes the accidents?
The most dangerous aspect of parking lots may very well be the sense of complacency that people have in them. After going 65 mph on a highway or navigating city traffic, a parking lot may seem like it’s no big deal.
However, that’s not really the case — parking lots are often webbed with intersections, crawling with pedestrians (including children who may or may not be under a parent’s firm grasp), and thick with drivers who are more focused on finding a good parking spot or getting back out of the lot and on with their day than they are what’s around them.
A lot of accidents happen because someone is speeding too fast through the lot or backing up out of a space without checking their blind spots carefully enough.
At night, lighting can be an issue — a poorly lit lot makes it harder for drivers to see both pedestrians and other cars.
What can you do to be safer?
Since one-quarter of accidents inside parking lots happen when someone is backing up, try to find a parking spot where you can pull-through to the spot in front. That way, you can exit by driving forward instead of having to risk backing up. If that isn’t possible, consider backing into your parking space instead of pulling in.
Make sure you make use of your headlights and your turn signals. Don’t get into competition with another driver for a space — rushing into a space is a recipe for disaster. Park in well-lit areas and consider parking toward the back of the lot where there’s less activity.
If you’ve been the victim of a parking lot accident that was the result of another person’s negligence, consider contacting an attorney for advice. For more information on how our law firm can help you recover fair compensation for your injuries, please visit our web page.