Many people who consider themselves safe drivers let down their guard once they pull into a parking lot or indoor parking garage. However, thousands of people are injured and hundreds lose their lives in parking lot accidents every year.
We’re moving into a season with one holiday after another. More people are out than in the past 18 months. Therefore, it’s a good time to look at the dangers that drivers and pedestrians face in parking areas and how you can help avoid an injury.
Drivers often give in to distractions they wouldn’t on the road
As people leave their location to head back home or to run another errand, they can be distracted by any number of things while they’re driving in the parking lot. Besides using their phone, they may program their GPS for their next destination, fix their hair on a windy day or unwrap their straw for that drink they bought at a drive-thru.
These aren’t just anecdotal examples. In a poll by the National Safety Council (NSC), respondents admitted to the following behaviors behind the wheel in parking lots:
- Nearly two-thirds (63%) programmed their GPS.
- Over half texted (56%) or used social media (52%).
- Fifty percent sent or read emails.
- Almost half (49%) watched videos or took pictures.
Since these numbers reflect only what people admitted, it can reasonably be assumed that the real numbers are higher.
How you can help protect yourself and your passengers
Even if you’re vigilant about not doing any of these things, others around you likely are. Simple measures like obeying directional signage, speed limits and stop signs can make a big difference. Using your turn signal can alert drivers around you to your intentions.
Be especially careful when backing out. We’re used to our backup cameras and other technology helping us avoid hitting a car or person when we back out or as we pull into a spot. However, things can happen in a split second – like a child getting loose from their parent’s grip.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a parking lot by a distracted or careless driver, be sure to seek the full compensation you need for medical bills and other expenses and damages. It may be wise to seek legal guidance to help ensure that you maximize your claim.