Most people think of parking lot accidents as being relatively minor. After all, they usually involve low speeds and often happen when drivers are distracted or not paying attention. But the truth is that parking lot accidents can be much more dangerous than you think. Fender benders can feel annoying in parking lots, but pedestrian accidents are much more serious.
Here are some statistics that about how dangerous parking lot accidents can be:
- Every year there are over 60,000 injuries and 500 deaths in the United States due to car accidents in parking lots and garages.
- Nearly one in five car accidents happen in a parking lot or garage.
- Parking lot accidents are most likely to happen between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. when people are communiting to home from work or school.
So why are parking lot accidents so dangerous? There are a few reasons:
- There are a lot of pedestrians in parking lots, and cars often have to back up or turn around, making it easy to hit someone.
- Parking lots are often full of obstacles like shopping carts, garbage cans, and other vehicles, making it difficult to see people or things in your path.
- People tend to drive more quickly in parking lots than on streets or highways, which increases the risk of an accident.
- People choose to drive distracted. It is important to never be on your phone while driving. Many times people try to argue that they were trying to route GPS. There is no excuse for using your GPS while driving; routing where you need to go should be done while your car is parked and turned off.
- People only do one check before backing out or moving in a parking lot. It is too common for people to glance from one angle and decide it is safe. Always check multiple times while backing up, making turns, or proceeding in a parking lot to ensure someone is not behind or near your car.
- Drivers trust backup cameras and sensors. Although these are tools to help detect something if you cannot see it, it is still your responsibility to check your surroundings, and you should never solely rely on these pieces of technology.
When involved in a parking lot accident, there are a few things you should do:
- Call the police. Even if the damage seems minor, it’s important to have an official report on file.
- Exchange information with the other driver, including insurance information.
- Take photos of the damage to both vehicles.
- Get the contact information of any witnesses.
- See a doctor, even if you don’t think you’re injured. Some injuries, like whiplash, can take days or weeks to appear.
If you’re injured in a parking lot accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.