Almost 70% of drivers said they’d make phone calls while driving in parking lots. This distracted driving behavior puts drivers at risk of parking lot accidents.
Every year in the United States, around 500 deaths occur to pedestrians and drivers in garages and parking lots.
With the holiday season approaching, it’s crucial to maintain safe parking lot practices. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to avoid parking lot accidents.
Keep reading to learn 10 tips for staying safe and avoiding parking lot accidents!
1. Treat A Parking Lot Like the Road
More often than not, drivers and pedestrians don’t treat parking lots with as much caution as they do roads.
To avoid a car accident in a parking lot, treat it like you would a busy intersection. Approach with caution, whether you’re parking or backing out. Stay aware and follow all parking lot of rules and laws.
2. Avoid Congested Areas
When you park in congested areas, you increase your chances of getting dents or scratches in your car from other doors or shopping carts.
The best place to park your car is next to an island, at the end of a row. You can also look for light poles as those protect your car from other vehicles that pull into their spots too quickly.
If you don’t mind the extra steps, park further out to avoid the hustle and bustle of the congested spaces.
3. Use Your Mirrors
For extra caution, you might consider adding some blind spot mirrors to your existing side mirrors. At the very least, make sure your mirrors are properly adjusted and that you check all of them before backing out or making a turn.
Always do a shoulder check as you would on the road, too.
4. Don’t Speed
In many parking lots, the speed limit is 5 or 10 miles per hour. The speed should be obeyed at all times.
If you don’t see any speed limit signs, stick with 5 miles per hour and always proceed with caution while you’re driving through all areas of a parking lot or garage.
5. Back Into Spaces When You Can
Set yourself up for success by backing into spaces whenever you can. It will help you become aware of your surroundings. Plus, your front view is much better than your back view.
Thus, when it comes time to leave, you’ll reduce your chance of getting in an accident if all you have to do is pull out frontwards.
6. Be Extra Careful When It’s Raining
Pedestrians tend to dart to and from their cars when it’s raining, to avoid getting soaked.
When people move quickly, they tend to make riskier moves, especially in a parking lot setting. Whether you’re on foot or behind the wheel, proceed with extra caution during rain or snow.
Your visibility isn’t as good during inclement weather, and it’s crucial to compensate for that.
7. Don’t Ever Assume
As a pedestrian and a driver, never make assumptions. Don’t assume that anyone can see you just because you can see them.
Vehicles have blind spots, and drivers could be distracted by a myriad of things. Drivers are often so concerned with watching other cars that they don’t see the smaller object (a person) walking by.
When you’re maneuvering around parking garages and lots, always assume people aren’t expecting you.
8. Wear the Right Shoes
Icy parking lot accidents are common during the cold winter months. If you’re wearing slippers or uncomfortable shoes, be extra careful.
Carry a pair of shoes with traction in your car so that when you do have to run errands or walk through a parking lot, you can do so without worrying about a slip and fall parking lot accident.
9. Always Hold Your Child’s Hand
When you’re moving across a parking lot with your child, hold their hand the entire time. Children are unpredictable, and they’re also harder to see.
Maintain a firm grip at all times and teach your kids about safe parking lot behavior.
10. Walk Safely and Stay Alert in Parking Lots
Whether you’re returning to or leaving your car, don’t make quick and unexpected movements.
Don’t dart around between parking vehicles. Listen and look for lights and signs of movement, and always assume that you’re not seen.
When you’re walking, protect yourself by moving around safely. When you’re driving, assume that a pedestrian could dart out in front of or behind your car at any second and drive safely.
No matter how careful you are, there will always be cars that speed through parking lot aisles and cut in front of others.
Always use your turn signal, take it slow, and avoid 2-way lanes whenever you can.
Even if you have backing-out technology, always double-check and do a 360-check with your own eyes.
Parking Lot Accident Laws
Parking lot accident laws depend on where you live. In Florida, for example, many parking lots are private.
What that means is that it’s up to those parking lots owners to maintain the pavement, remove any debris, and provide adequate lighting.
If you do get into an accident in a parking garage or lot, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention and call a parking lot accident lawyer. The lawyer will explore every detail of your accident to help determine who was at fault and get you the compensation you deserve.
You must still do all the things you would after a road accident, like take photos, exchange information, and call the police.
Many Parking Lot Accidents Require a Lawyer
Parking lot accidents are a common occurrence, especially since drivers and pedestrians tend to be a little less careful than they are on the road.
No matter how big or small, accidents are stressful. If you’ve been in a parking lot accident, call a lawyer so they can help with your case and alleviate some of that stress by ensuring no stone gets left unturned when it comes to your car accident claim.
If you’re entitled to compensation, they’ll make sure you get the compensation you deserve for all your pain and suffering. Have you been in a parking lot accident and are unsure as to whether or not you need a lawyer?
Contact us to schedule your free consultation with a parking lot accident lawyer today!