A fender bender inside a parking lot is a lot more common than you think. As a matter of fact, the parking lot—whether at the mall, grocery, or workplace—is where you’ll more likely get into a vehicle crash. Check out the infographic below and learn more about fender benders in the car park and what you can do to keep you and your passengers safe.
Based on the 2012 claims data from car insurance company Nationwide, about 13% of vehicle crashes occurred in car parks. Another auto insurance company, Progressive, found out that almost 25% of its accident claims involves incidents at parking areas during “Black Friday,” one of the busiest shopping holidays.
The workplace parking lot is also a major location for car accidents. According to a 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, 126 out of 277 pedestrian injuries as a result of being hit by a vehicle at the workplace happened at a car park.
Causes of Parking Lot Crashes
There are several reasons why both motorists and pedestrians continue to be at risk of getting into an accident when inside the parking area:
- Backing out – When a driver pulls “head in” into a parking space, they have to back out, creating blind spots that are harder to figure out because other vehicles are parked on either side. This makes it more difficult for a motorist to see if there’s an obstacle or pedestrian at the back.
- Too much focus on finding a spot – Looking for a vacant spot is difficult in a crowded lot, especially if it’s the holidays. Because of this, drivers tend to focus more on finding a space than on other drivers and pedestrians that might cross their paths.
- Congestion – Small parking spaces and crowded lots, especially during the holidays, pose greater risk because it means higher car and pedestrian traffic.
- No traffic laws – Traffic laws, unfortunately, can’t be fully enforced on all parking areas as many of these paved spaces are considered private properties. Without traffic laws, some drivers can get reckless, increasing their chances of getting into an accident.
- Poor parking lot maintenance – A poorly maintained parking area is a death trap. Uneven surfaces, a huge pile of snow and ice, and lighting fixtures with dim bulbs can all increase vehicle accident risks.
Dos and Don’ts to Prevent Parking Lot Accidents
- Do choose a parking space that’s far away from the entrance or exit. By doing so, you’re less exposed to pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
- Do select a well-lit area. Properly illuminated surroundings let you clearly see the space around your car, especially at night.
- Don’t remove seat belts until you’re safely parked. Accidents can happen anytime, so it’s best to be prepared.
- Don’t ignore car park rules. Traffic laws may not exist in all parking areas, but all of them have regulations for pedestrian and driver safety in the form of speed limit and stop signs and marked crosswalks.