Parking Lot Safety - More People Equals More AccidentsDecember 7, 2018 | Category: Automobile Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents | Share
CBS This Morning reported in November 2016 that hundreds are killed in crashes in parking lots and garages every year. Kris Van Cleave, a CBS News correspondent, reported that the leading culprit is distraction using a cell phone. The slower speeds in parking lots and garages often give drivers a “false sense of security” tempting them to make calls or text while driving.
The CBS This Morning segment showed a video capturing the moment a speeding driver struck a mother pushing her 15-month-old baby’s stroller in October 2016. The mother died, but the baby survived.
The National Safety Council (NSC) said that, on average, at least 60,000 are injured and 500 more die in the 50,000 plus crashes in parking lots and garages every year.
“It’s just as dangerous to be distracted in a parking lot going 5 mph as it is going 50 mph,” NSC president Deborah Hersman said.
Parking lots often have different traffic than roadways outside the parking lots. The traffic can be pedestrian, as well as vehicular. The environment inside the parking lot or garage might be conducive to accidents. There may be poor lighting, small tight spaces, and/or faulty signage which cause miscommunication.
Experts say most accidents happen because of any one of the following:
- A pedestrian walks across a lane of travel without looking to make sure the coast is clear
- Drivers back out of parking spaces into vehicles traveling past them
- Someone opens a vehicle door as another driver enters the parking space next to them
- A driver backing out of a parking space does not see a pedestrian walking behind them
- A driver travels at a high rate of speed and cannot stop for a pedestrian walking through the parking lot
- Two drivers race for the same parking spot
- Two drivers back out of their respective parking spaces at the same time and collide
- Confusion, or miscommunication, causes a driver to travel in the wrong direction
Who is liable for parking lot or garage accidents?
Often the rules of the road do not apply in parking lots as they are considered private property. However, as with any other accident, the first thing everyone should do is check for injuries. If there are injuries, then immediately call 9-1-1. The police also should be notified so they can file a police report. Information needs to be exchanged, which includes name, contact and insurance information, along with the vehicle, or vehicles’, license plate number(s). If the accident happens on a store’s property, then getting the store name, the name of the store manager, and insurance information would be necessary for any future law suits or legal claims. Photographs should be taken and a personal injury attorney should be contacted.
When investigating the accident, the law firm will consider whether either party violated the law by driving recklessly or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It will also consider the following:
- Did anyone drive against the posted traffic rules for the parking lot?
- Was the parking lot properly maintained with the correct signage and lighting?
- Was either side backing out when there were cars or pedestrians in the way?
- Was either party speeding?
- Did any pedestrians run in front of backing-up vehicles?
- Was anyone involved not taking enough time to survey the environment in the parking lot before moving?
- Did anyone cause intentional harm?
“Parking lots can be dangerous places, and as our population increases, the danger increases. If you or a loved one is injured in a parking lot accident, please contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. to determine your rights,” said Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey.
Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.