Posted on Thursday, December 21st, 2023 at 8:00 am
Car accidents tend to happen when you least expect them, but they can also occur where you least expect them. It’s typical to see the unfortunate results of negligent or reckless driving on the side of the highway or at a busy intersection. Yet, it’s also quite common to witness them in a place where no one is moving all that fast: The parking lot.
When the holiday season arrives, many individuals are eager to crowd the shopping malls and department stores in their search for perfect presents to gift to friends and loved ones. And it’s only natural for these people to feel a little safer than they typically do on their daily commute. However, the fact is that nearly one in five automobile accidents occur in a parking lot or garage.
Fender benders and worse outcomes are hardly festive or fit for the season, so we thought it would be helpful to provide some information on what to watch for when you’re in the lot, whether you’re on foot or behind the wheel.
Stationary, Yet Far From Safe
Reliable estimates suggest that tens of thousands of crashes take place in parking lots and garages every year, and these numbers only increase when the holiday shopping season begins. From Black Friday onward, automotive insurers tend to report a significant increase in the number of claims they must process. And this only considers those incidents that are actually reported.
Distracted and Impacted
There are multiple factors that increase the likelihood of a fender bender in the parking lot, but chief among them would have to be distracted driving.
- A National Safety Council opinion poll reported that 66% of drivers throughout the country make phone calls while driving through the parking lot.
- The same survey produced other troubling statistics: 56% reported texting, 52% like to scroll through social media, 50% are glued to their email, and 49% are taking photos or watching videos. These are not exactly encouraging numbers.
Other Fender Bender Factors
Plenty of other habits, circumstances, and behaviors increase the likelihood of a parking lot collision.
- Traffic moves in several different directions: Vehicles are turning around blind corners, squeezing through narrow lanes, or reversing out of spots, often while failing to use their signals.
- Poorly designed lots can become incredibly chaotic when the crush of holiday shoppers overwhelms their capacity. They often feature poor visibility, confusing directions, or badly painted crossing areas for pedestrians.
What Can I Do to Avoid All This?
Fortunately, there are concrete steps you can take to significantly reduce the odds of an accident.
- Don’t cut across parking spaces, and stay in lane.
- Use your turn signals!
- When reversing out of a space, do so slowly and look over your shoulder in addition to using rear cameras or mirrors.
- Stay off your phone when your car is in motion.
Have you or a loved one been a victim of a car accident in a parking lot or garage structure? If so, Tiemann Law Firm would be pleased to assist you. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will always fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free same-day consultation by calling (916) 999-9000 or toll-free: (800) 712-2000.