More than 50,000 car accidents occur each year in parking lots. It’s safe to say; parking lots are not as accident-proof as many might think. As expected, the risk of being in a parking lot accident increases drastically during the holidays. Auto insurance companies report a large spike in accident claims beginning mid-November through the holiday shopping season.
Many experts suspect this increase to be linked to elevated stress levels and distracted driving. Distracted driving is the single most significant contributor to these parking lot accidents, as the National Safety Council (NSC) determined that 66% of drivers across the nation admitted that they would make a phone call while driving through a parking lot. This study also concluded that:
- 63% of drivers would program their GPS system while driving in a parking lot.
- 56% of drivers would send or read text messages while driving in a parking lot.
- 49% of drivers would watch videos while driving in a parking lot.
While these statistics look grim, there are things that can be done to help decrease your chances of being involved in a parking lot accident this holiday season.
Safety Tips for Drivers
The obvious answer is for drivers to avoid driving distracted under all circumstances. When you drive distracted, you are choosing to put your needs above the safety of those around you. Distracted driving is a traffic violation and an act of negligence that can lead to injuries.
Additionally, drivers should always be aware of their surroundings, especially when backing up. Data from an NSC study indicates that 9% of all pedestrian parking lot fatalities and 25% of all parking lot accidents result from backup incidents.
Being aware of your surroundings is a simple way to help prevent grave mistakes.
With many additional people making their way through parking lots this holiday season, it’s important to keep your attention on storefronts and pedestrian crossings. Doing so will help you spot individuals that you may not have seen and will undoubtedly help prevent an accident.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
Unfortunately, parking lot accidents make up the bulk of all pedestrian accidents each year, with a majority of them taking place during the holiday season. With elevated stress levels, a “me first” mentality, and frustrated drivers, it’s important to stay vigilant as you make your way through parking lots on foot this holiday season.
Some of the most important things you can do to help prevent being struck in a parking lot are:
- Avoid distractions - Allowing yourself to become distracted while walking is just as dangerous as driving distracted. Keep your attention on the road ahead. Doing so may help you spot a distracted or negligent driver and can prevent an accident.
- Make use of marked crosswalks - Walking through parking spaces and unmarked paths increases your chances of getting hit in a parking lot. There are marked crosswalks for a reason. Use them and make sure it is safe to cross before doing so.
Following these tips will reduce the risk of being involved in an accident, but will not eliminate them.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a parking lot accident this holiday season, you may be entitled to compensation to recover damages such as medical bills or lost wages. Call for a free consultation with our team of trusted Hudson Valley car accident attorneys here at The Ahearne Law Firm.
Accidents happen when we least expect them. Give us a call today (845) 763-4100 to learn more about how we can help you recover.