Parking lots pose one of the most underestimated dangers for drivers and pedestrians. With speed limits of 10 miles per hour, they may not seem like accident-prone areas. For this reason, many drivers and pedestrians let their guard down with the belief that parking lot accidents rarely cause any harm.
But parking lots can be just as dangerous as any roadway in the Bronx. During peak business hours, parking lots are crowded with pedestrians, passenger vehicles and delivery trucks.
Why parking lot accidents happen
Parking lots can be filled with distracted drivers and pedestrians at any given moment. In fact, the National Safety Council conducted a 2016 poll about drivers' attitudes toward distracted driving. Roughly 25 percent of those polled admitted to engaging in distracting activities while driving through a parking lot. These activities included, but were not limited to:
- Making or receiving phone calls
- Typing or reading text messages
- Grooming or fixing their hair
- Engaging on social media
- Programming a GPS
- Taking photos and videos
- Video chatting
Safety is possible
All of these activities can put drivers and pedestrians at risk. Luckily, there are solutions to this problem. Jerry Marcus, president and owner of The Parking Advisory Group LLC discusses some safeguards that can be put in place to reduce parking lot accidents.
- One-way lanes can minimize distractions and avoid confusion in the flow of traffic.
- Rumble strips can reduce drivers' speed by emitting a sound that mimics acceleration.
- Adequate lighting in all areas of a parking lot improves visibility at night.
- Reducing walking distances and offering designated walking areas keeps pedestrians away from traffic.
- Highly visible signs and arrows can reduce any kind of confusion that may arise in a parking lot.
But we can't rely entirely on improvements to parking lot infrastructure. Drivers need to do their part to keep parking lots safer. An article by U.S. News offers the following tips:
- Reduce your speed. Obstacles can come without warning, so the slower the better.
- Stay awake, stay focused and don't engage in distracting behavior.
- Use your turn signals to alert drivers and pedestrians which direction you intend to travel.
- Try to park in a space where you can pull forward when leaving.
- Park in a space at the end of a row, possibly near an island or pole.
- Look in both directions at 180 degrees when backing out of a parking space.
- Try to park in areas where you can avoid traffic.
In the event of a parking lot accident, you should always take photos, exchange information with other parties involved, call the police and seek medical attention.
If you've been hurt in a parking lot accident, you need an experienced auto accident attorney on your side. Giampa Law proudly serves clients in the Bronx and throughout New York. Contact us today and find out how we can help.