Car Accidents -

Parking Lot Accidents: Maneuvering Safely in Confined Spaces

Parking lot accidents can happen for many reasons, including the hunt to find a parking space, limited visibility, distracted driving, poorly marked parking spaces, or just a lapse in concentration. You can reduce your chances of being involved in a parking lot accident by minimizing distractions and paying attention to where you are going. Let’s delve into how you can prevent parking lot accidents by maneuvering safely in confined spaces. 

Common Parking Lot Accidents

To prevent parking lot accidents, you need to understand the most common types of accidents that happen in parking lots. While parking lot accidents might not involve open roads and high speeds, they can cause some serious damage. The severity of the damage depends on several factors, including the force of the impact and the type of collision. 

Here are the most common types of parking lot accidents: 

Back-Up Accidents 

A high percentage of parking lot accidents happen when a driver is reversing. The limited visibility from the sides means the driver has to rely on their judgment to back up the vehicle. They must back up slowly to give any passing vehicle or pedestrian time to either cross or stop. 

Rear-Up Collisions

This type of accident is most common when a driver waits for parking space to clear. In most cases, the driver who is at the rear is at fault for the accident. Even if the vehicle in front has to brake suddenly, the driver in the rear should maintain enough distance to safely bring the vehicle to a stop without a collision.

Pedestrian Accidents 

The most dangerous type of parking lot accidents are ones that involve pedestrians. As you can imagine, pedestrian accidents in parking lots can lead to catastrophic injuries. There is no protection for pedestrians, which means that even minor collisions could result in serious damage.

Door Dings and Dents 

Parking lots typically have cars parked close to each other, and this can often result in door dings and dents. Typically, these types of accidents are minor and do not involve any severe property damage or bodily injuries. 

Tips to Prevent Parking Lot Accidents 

Reduce Speed

One of the best and easiest ways to lower the likelihood of being in a parking lot accident is to reduce your speed. Even a slight reduction can make a huge impact on your ability to react to an emergency. A secondary benefit of reducing speed is that the impact of any collision is less severe. 

Use Your Mirrors

The mirrors in your vehicle can assist you in navigating through parking lots. You should keep an eye on the mirrors to remain aware of your surroundings. While the mirrors won’t cover all the angles, they provide you with decent visibility to ensure there are no hidden hazards. Even if your vehicle has advanced parking assistance features, it still helps to make a habit of checking the mirror when driving. 

Maintain a Safe Distance 

You should always leave enough space in front of you. If you follow the “two-second rule”, you should stay at least two seconds behind any vehicle in front of you. This rule applies to roadways and parking lots. 

Be Extra Careful in Busy Lots

There is a lot that can be going on in a busy parking lot, and that can often lead to unpredictable behavior from drivers and pedestrians. It’s best to give yourself some extra time in such situations. Exercise extra vigilance and patience when in a high-traffic parking lot. 

Also, be extra careful when entering and leaving parking spaces. When you enter a parking lot during daylight hours, it could take your eyes a few seconds to adjust, so go slowly. 

Yield to Pedestrians

Unfortunately, pedestrians in parking lots do not always cross at the designated crosswalks. Try to yield to pedestrians by always being ready to stop when they are present. 

What to Do If You’re Involved In a Parking Lot Accident

As should be the case with any auto accident, your priority should be your safety and ensuring that everyone else involved gets the medical assistance they need. Under no circumstances should you flee from the accident site. Hit and run is a serious offense, and you could face severe consequences. Even if you are at fault for the accident, you wait at the scene until the police arrive and you have exchanged all the required information with other parties involved in the accident. 

You should try to gather evidence at the accident site to help strengthen your case. The most common type of evidence used in parking lot accidents includes photos and videos of the accident site, eyewitness testimony, and surveillance footage. 

Another important step to take in the aftermath of the accident is to notify your insurance company about the accident. However, do not admit fault or share unnecessary details with the insurance adjuster. Talk to a lawyer to determine the best course of action to safeguard your rights. 

Consult with an Experienced Parking Lot Accident Attorney 

If you suffered a parking lot accident, you could be eligible to recover compensation for your suffering. Ideally, you want to get an attorney involved as early as possible, as they can guide you on steps to take to protect your rights. 

In some cases, you can file a lawsuit against the parking lot owner if you can prove a design flaw or negligence in maintenance resulted in your parking lot accident. 

Establishing liability in a parking lot accident can often be challenging, as you need to gather evidence to prove your claim. However, car accident lawyers can use their resources and experience to gather evidence for you. To consult with a lawyer, contact T. Madden & Associates, P.C.

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