Serious Lawyers for Serious Injuries

How Common Are Parking Lot Accidents?

Published on Jul 27, 2021 at 3:54 pm in Car Accidents.

Cars parked in lot

When drivers exit the roadway and prepare to park their vehicle in front of a shopping mall, grocery store, event site, office building, or the place they work, they may believe they have left the dangers of the commute behind. It is a widespread misconception that a parking lot is an unlikely place for a devastating car crash to happen. But parking lot accidents are more common than one may hope to believe. A quick glance at a few statistics gives insight into a danger many of us may be guilty of underestimating.

  • Approximately one in five car accidents happen in a parking lot or garage.
  • Each year, parking areas are the site of an estimated 50,000+ crashes resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries.
  • Nearly 40% of fatalities in parking lot accidents are pedestrians.
  • Small children, infants in strollers, and older adults are most at risk of fatality.

If you have been involved in a parking lot accident, the next step you take should be to get in contact with an attorney who has experience in car accident law. A qualified car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and options, and give you the legal guidance you need to recover your losses and make sure negligent drivers are held accountable for their actions.

Why Parking Lots Pose Hidden Risks

For the following reasons, driving in a parking lot poses unique challenges that drivers do not generally face when traveling on the roadways:

  • Distracted Driving. Distraction is far and away the number one leading cause of accident in parking lots. Cell phone usage, looking for open parking spaces, activating GPS and typing in addresses, hurrying to park and exit the vehicle, carrying on conversations with passengers, putting away packages, and even looking for pedestrians are all common behaviors which lead to unsafe conditions.
  • False Sense of Security. In a place where actions such as speeding, running red lights, or taking turns too quickly are not usually a concern, people may become lax in practicing safe driving habits. Many drivers do not think of a parking lot as a place where a serious injury or fatality can occur, and are more focused on leaving their vehicle than driving it safely. This can become even more of a danger when drivers and passengers do not wear seatbelts in a parking lot.
  • Traffic Moving in Multiple Directions. With high numbers of cars backing up, turning blind corners, driving down narrow passages, passing at tight angles, squeezing into compact spots, and moving across painted lines—many of them failing to use turn signals—a parking lot can become a jumble of movement in which it is difficult to know how to proceed safely.
  • Mix of Pedestrians and Vehicles. A parking lot is full of people on foot, many of them with children, strollers, shopping carts, and heavy bags in tow. When this already dangerous scenario is compounded by distraction on the part of driver and pedestrian, as is commonly the case, the likelihood of an accident is increased even further.
  • Failure to Follow Traffic Rules. It sometimes seems as though many drivers operate under the assumption that road signs and traffic directions do not matter in a parking lot. It is important to remember that most parking lots have stop signs, painted lines, one-way lanes, and sometimes even speed limits. Although the traffic rules may not be as stringent, obvious, or enforced as they are on the road, they are vital to the safety of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians in a parking lot.
  • Poor Design. Many parking areas are difficult to navigate safely, even under the best conditions. Lack of visibility is one of the biggest problems, with other issues such as unclear driving directions, lack of designated walking areas for pedestrians, and poor lighting in parking lots or underground garages causing additional complications.
  • Aggressive Driving. Parking can be a stressful activity, especially when there is a scarcity of spaces and drivers are in a hurry to park and enter the building. This can lead to aggressive and reckless driving, as drivers may fight for open spaces, rush to park, or speed through open areas without looking for oncoming vehicles or pedestrians.

Staying Safe in Parking Areas

The National Safety Council (NSC) makes recommendations on how you can stay safe when maneuvering your vehicle through the hazards of a parking lot. The following safety habits can help keep you, your passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers safe:

  • Drive slowly and cautiously at all times.
  • Avoid cutting across parking areas and stay in lanes whenever possible.
  • Use turn signals.
  • Be mindful of pedestrians, especially children and strollers.
  • Be alert for rolling carts and any person or object which may appear suddenly.
  • Anticipate the actions of other drivers.
  • Park in well-lit areas with ease of exit whenever possible.
  • Watch for cracked pavement, potholes, litter, or ice and snow if weather-applicable.
  • Walk around your vehicle to check for low-lying objects before driving away.
  • Reverse slowly out of parking spaces and do not rely only on mirrors or backup cameras.
  • Do not look down at a phone, GPS, or mobile device screen while the vehicle is moving.
  • Only make a phone call when you are safely parked.
  • Be aware that parking lots are especially hazardous around holidays, especially Black Friday.

Contact Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm in Midland, Texas

We want to keep our roads and parking areas in Midland safe for all of us. No matter where it occurs, it is devastating to be involved in a car crash, especially when you have been the victim of another driver’s negligence. If you’ve been in a parking lot accident, you may have sustained physical damages, in addition to emotional and financial ones. People who have suffered injuries from an auto wreck they did not cause could be eligible for compensation. A car accident lawyer from Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm can walk with you through the steps of taking legal action to obtain the compensation you need to recover. Contact us today for an obligation-free discussion of your case.

Meet Your Team

Free Legal Consultation

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Legal & Firm News

Common Spine Injuries From Car Accidents

Soreness is a common sensation to experience following a car accident. But don’t mistake what you’re feeling for routine aches and pains—if your back is hurting, you’re experiencing any loss of movement, or suffering respiratory distress, you may have suffered a back injury. Signs and symptoms of common spine injuries from car accidents are not […]

Read More

What Are Coup and Contrecoup Brain Injuries?

Brain injuries, even those considered minor, almost always have an intense, unignorable impact on a person’s life. Doctors have a number of different ways to classify traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) based on factors like severity, location, and whether the injury penetrated the skull or was considered a closed-head injury. Among closed-head injuries, coup and contrecoup […]

Read More

What Is Considered Patient Abuse or Elderly Abuse?

Many New Mexico families find themselves between a rock and a hard place. They can’t provide their incapacitated, aging, or otherwise vulnerable loved one with the around-the-clock care they need because they have to work or have other obligations, yet this attention is imperative to ensure their loved one’s wellbeing. This need often ends with […]

Read More