Parking lots are often the most congested and busiest parts of the driving experience, yet as drivers, we don’t often associate it with risk and danger. It is important to remember that safe driving techniques need to be implemented the moment you get behind the wheel. A study by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association found that 20 percent of all accident related insurance claims were related to incidents that happened within the limits of the parking lot. With drivers and pedestrians not seeing the risk of these situations, these accidents will continue to happen. The next time you are searching the lot for a spot, remember the importance of these safe driving and parking techniques.
Other drivers can pose the biggest risk when maneuvering through the parking lot. There are multiple obstacles and obstructions in common parking lots that can cause other drivers to make poor decisions and move quickly to find a space in a hurry. Take the time to slow down and be aware of other driver’s actions. If you are moving at a safe and responsible speed, you will have more time to react and can prevent potential accidents from occurring.
Backing out from a parking space can be one of the most dangerous parts of parking lots. Make sure you have full visibility before pulling out. Check 360 degrees to ensure there are no cars or pedestrians within the space of your car. When reversing, back slowly and watch for through traffic that can quickly pull behind you.
Where and how you park your car can determine how at risk you are for potential car damage. Cars that are parked carelessly can end up scratched and dented from things like shopping cars or car doors. When deciding where to park, make sure there is plenty of room for the size of your car and that you are parked safely between the designated lines. Park in the back of the parking lot where there is less traffic and the chances of the car getting hit while in the lot are less than if you were parked close to the surrounding buildings. When possible, park in front of a light pole to protect your car in a situation where another car pulls too far forward.
Look out For Pedestrians
Unlike a busy street, parking lots are full of people walking to and from their cars. While you may see them, they don’t always see you. Always expect pedestrians while driving through a parking lot. Remember, pedestrians always have the right of way!
Do your best to prevent automobile accidents from happening even when you are not driving on the traditional road. Parking lot accidents are a common occurrence, yet are often overlooked during the conversation of safe driving. Be aware of your surroundings and do your best to protect yourself, and everyone else in the parking lot. If you are involved in an accident that took place in the parking lot, the attorney’s at Owen Patterson & Owen are available to discuss your options. For a free consultation with an experienced lawyer, call us toll-free at 800.676.5295 or send us an e-mail by using the convenient form here.