As many as 90,000 injuries occur each year from parking lot accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It is estimated that more than 1,500 deaths occur each year in parking lot accidents. These statistics might surprise you because people generally think of parking lot car accidents as minor inconveniences and nuisances instead of serious crashes. However, even a minor fender-bender can result in injuries that require medical treatment. It is always in a person’s best interest to take any traffic accident, including a collision in a parking lot, seriously.
Be Safe When Driving In A Parking Lot
The majority of drivers pull into a parking space and back out of the parking space when they are ready to leave. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), backing into a parking space so you can pull forward when you leave is the safest way to park your vehicle in a parking lot. While this endeavor takes a few extra seconds, it can reduce the likelihood of a parking lot accident. Modern technology such as parking assist systems and backup cameras have made this task easier. It takes some practice, but backing into a parking spot can become second nature after a few attempts.
When you back into a parking space, you have a better view once you are ready to leave. You can see other vehicles and pedestrians that may be in your direct line of movement. AAA conducted a study on drivers who back out of parking spaces. The study revealed that 48 percent of the time motorcycles were not seen and bicycles were not noticed in 40 percent of the time when a driver was in a parking lot.
The Seriousness of the Accident
Because vehicles are moving at slower speeds in a parking lot, many injuries are not as severe or life-threatening as we see in traffic accidents at higher rates of speed. However, the seriousness of the injury escalates when a pedestrian is involved. Injuries also become more serious if the driver is speeding through the parking lot. Common injuries in parking lot accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Sprains, strains, and tears of muscles and tendons
- Back and neck injuries, including whiplash
- Head injuries, such as concussions or traumatic brain injuries
Tips for Driving in a Parking Lot
If you cannot back into a parking space, take extra precautions when backing out of one. The most important thing to remember is to move slowly to give time for other drivers or pedestrians to know your intentions and move out of the way or alert you to their presence.
Turn in your seat to look around the vehicle before moving. Don’t rely solely on systems such as backup cameras because they don’t provide the entire picture. Backup sensors may not always alert you to obstacles, which is why it is important to look around for yourself. Remain aware of any blind spots as you back up.
Take the time to learn how to back into a parking space whenever possible. The few extra seconds it takes will be worth it if it prevents an accident. By taking this extra precaution, you can avoid seriously injuring someone when it’s time to leave. Always drive at a much slower speed when in a parking lot and avoid passing vehicles when possible.
Have You Been Injured In A Parking Lot Accident?
If you have been injured in a parking lot or other car accident, consult an experienced Erie parking lot accident attorney before you speak with the insurance adjuster for the other driver. The insurance adjuster does not represent you. He represents the best interest of the insurance company, which is often in direct contrast to what is in your best interest. You need someone in your corner who is only thinking about protecting your best interest.
Contact The Travis Law Firm toll-free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free consultation with an Erie parking lot accident attorney. Our Erie parking lot accident attorney only has your best interest in mind when filing an accident claim on your behalf.