Parking Lot Accidents are very common. Thousands of crashes take place in parking lots and structures every year. They are riskier than most of us think because there is lots of movement occurring at once in a relatively small space. There are people walking, cars pulling out of spots, drivers searching for posts, and others trying to park. This increases the likelihood for parking lot accidents.
Parking Lot Accidents Statistics
In one year, there are about 2000 parking lot accidents and 99 deaths caused by cars reversing from parking spots. A larger number of parking lot accidents injuries and fatalities are faced by pedestrians. Around 5000 accidents take place to pedestrians from moving cars. 106 pedestrian fatalities occur from moving cars and 5 fatalities from cars accidentally left in drive without a driver.
Common Causes of Parking Lot Accidents
People often think parking lots are safe because cars tend to drive slowly. However, that is a wrong sense of security. They can be very dangerous, and lead to injuries. The following are common causes of parking lot accidents:
- Poorly maintained parking lots. This often leads to slips, trips and falls.
- Heavy traffic and congestion in parking lots. This doubles the chances for parking lot accidents because maneuver gets harder.
- Cell phone distractions. 66% of drivers use their cell phones while driving through parking lots.
- Lack of traffic regulations. Traffic laws like stop signs are not forceable in parking lots. This makes driving through these parking lots somewhat chaotic.
- Drivers’ attention is focused on finding a parking spot rather than other cars and pedestrians. Most parking lot accidents are caused by this type of distraction.
- Driving the wrong direction or turning into oncoming traffic. Sometimes drivers do that by mistake due to lack of signs in lots. Other times, drivers want to shorten the way. Either option could lead to serious parking lot accidents.
Parking Lot Accidents Liability
In the unfortunate event of a parking lot accident, liability will depend on the situation. Liability depends on who is at fault for the accident. It could be the distracted driver, the parking lot owner who negligently maintained the lot, the repair companies who poorly repaired the lot. California is an “at-fault” state which means liability is strictly dependent on fault. If two cars were found at fault, they will share liability.
Tips to avoid parking lot accidents
Whether you are driving or you are walking, the rule of thumb is to always be cautious and alert. In a parking lot, you should always take the following precautionary measures:
- Drive slowly and follow the speed limit of the parking lot
- Never cut through the parking lot in a diagonal way
- Use your signals when turning left or right
- Don’t rush to the spots closest to the entrance to avoid accidents due to congestion.
- When backing up from a spot, do it slowly and watch for other cars and pedestrians
- Never solely rely on back-up camera
- When you find a spot, park fully within the lines of the spot