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Parking Lots Are Common Locations for Car-Bicycle Accidents

Steve Wagner


  • 2 in 5 accidents involve parking lots during the warmer seasons because of the increase of traffic, events, and more people traveling outside.
  • Most parking lot accidents occur when a driver is turning into a parking lot or exiting one. Parking lots rules are similar to those on a roadway. The driver making a turn across traffic must yield to oncoming traffic, including bicycles.
  • Although most parking lot accidents tend to involve vehicle damage only, when injuries and fatalities do happen, they typically involve pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • To avoid getting into a parking lot collision with a cyclist in the first place, treat bikes like cars, avoid driving while distracted, drive slowly, and review our tips on the blog today.

Parking Lots Create Perfect Setting for Spring Bicycle Crashes

On average, 91,000 people are injured in parking lot related crashes each year. The scene is common to crashes between bicyclists and motor vehicles, due to extra blind spots and the lack of clear separation of where bikes can travel. In fact, most vehicle-meets-bicyclist crashes happen when views are blinded or blocked by other vehicles. Outdoor activities, like bike riding will continue to increase in popularity as the spring months warm up, so keep an eye out for bicyclists who have the same rights as other vehicles.

Motorists Should Watch for Bicyclists When Turning into Parking Lots

Many bike-related parking lot accidents occur when a driver is turning into a parking lot. In addition, drivers should watch out for bicycles when backing up, or making sharp turns exiting a parking lot. Drivers making a turn across traffic must yield to oncoming traffic. Since most parking lots in Indiana don’t regulate stops at every turn, drivers tend to easily forget that they can’t just turn in front bicyclists (or pedestrians). Drivers should apply the same rules of the road and share three feet with bicyclists. In doing so they are likely to avoid parking lot accidents and the injuries sustained from them. To avoid getting into a parking lot collision in the first place, drivers should review these tips:

  • Don’t be distracted. Stay off your phone or personal device.
  • Always be looking in both directions, about 180 degrees before backing out of a parking space. Don’t just depend on a mirror or backup camera to assure you it is safe to start moving.
  • Choose a parking space at the end of a row, next to an island or in front of a light pole when possible to protect your car. Park in spots farther away from a store because it may be easier to avoid traffic.
  • Grab a parking space where you can pull forward instead of backing out.
  • Obey stop signs, bike lanes, and no-turn signs.
  • Park in a space that fits your vehicle. For example, if you are driving a compact car, park in the compact car space. If you are in a bigger vehicle and require more room, find a space that allows you to comfortably park in between the lines.
  • Stay alert for bikes cutting across parking lanes.
  • Stay in lanes and never cut across lots.
  • There is no need to rush the risk of getting in an accident by speeding through a parking lot. Drive slowly.
  • Use turn signals, so others can anticipate your actions.
  • When entering or exiting a parking lot, be mindful of bicycle lanes.

Although most parking lot accidents tend to involve vehicle damage only, when injuries and fatalities do happen, they will typically involve pedestrians or bicyclists.

Bicycle Accident Victims Deserve Representation

If tragedy strikes and you or someone you love is injured in a parking lot bike-related accident, please call the bicycle accident attorneys at Wagner Reese for a free consultation. We put decades of experience to work for you, and we won’t collect any fees unless your case is settled or won.

Connect with us by submitting our online form, and our attorneys will review your information, and respond promptly. If you wish to speak directly with us, please call (888) 204-8440.


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