Why are Parking Lots So Dangerous?

Home » Why are Parking Lots So Dangerous?
January 10, 2021
Edward Smith

Parking Lot Accidents

One of the most common places for a car crash to occur is within an area designated for people to park their cars. By some estimates, more than 50,000 collisions per year occur in parking lots throughout the United States. Some of these are low-speed fender-benders, but such incidents can still cause injuries.  Those most vulnerable to serious injury include pedestrians, children, and older adults.  

It is important to understand some of the reasons why car accidents frequently occur in areas where cars are parked.

Parking Lots Can be Confusing and Chaotic

The layout of a parking lot is one reason accidents are common.  Vehicles are moving in a variety of directions, pulling out of and into spaces, and navigating through areas that often do not have appropriate ground lines or stop signs.  Because of these reasons, it can be hard to anticipate which way a driver is going to go.  Drivers are often in a hurry or not paying attention as they navigate through parking areas, adding to the chaos. 

Watch the YouTube video with tips for safely navigating within a parking area.

Bad Drivers

The list of things that may distract a driver is increased in some parking areas.  In addition to the usual suspects – food, mobile phones, and children, depending on the type of business, drivers may be distracted by shifting packages or pre-occupied with the purpose of their errand.  Many are in a hurry to get in and out of the lot.  Some instances of road rage have even occurred in parking lots over the perceived insult of another taking a spot one had intended to park in.  

Design of Parking Lots

In addition to a lack of directional lines, many parking lots also have poor lighting – particularly in garages or underground lots.  Many designs include tight turns and small spaces.  Such features make it especially important to slow down, and not all drivers heed that precaution. 

Avoiding Parking Lot Crashes

The following safety tips may help you avoid a parking lot car accident: 

  • The best way to avoid obstacles and accidents in a lot or garage is to drive slowly. 
  • Stay within your designated lane, and do not make unexpected moves.
  • Use turn signals.  Because it is often hard to anticipate others’ movement in a parking lot, this helps.
  • Drive defensively – don’t assume other drivers will yield to you.
  • Obey all posted signs and directional aids.
  • Be on the lookout for pedestrians at all times, especially small children that may dart out from a parking area unexpectedly.

Use extra care when reversing.  If you have a back-up camera, use it, but never solely rely on it.  Look around in all directions for pedestrians and obstacles before proceeding in reverse.

Make sure any packages or purchases are stored, so they do not impede your view.

Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer

Hello.  Thank you for reading our exploration of parking lot accidents.  My name is Ed Smith, and I am a car accident attorney in Sacramento, California.  Even in slow-speed car crashes, injuries can happen.  Car accidents in any setting are most often caused by negligent driving.  If you or anyone you love has sustained injuries in a car accident that was caused by the carelessness or recklessness of another driver, you will want to speak with an experienced and skilled injury lawyer to ensure that your legal rights are protected.  If you would like to receive our compassionate, free, and friendly legal advice, phone us at 916.921.6400 or from outside the local area code at 800.404.5400.  If you prefer, use our online contact form.  For more than 38 years, I have been advocating for injured Northern Californians.

To see the results of some of our prior cases, and to read what former clients have to say about us, please visit the below sites:

Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/photos/parking-deck-parking-car-park-deck-438415/

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