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Be More Careful in Parking Lots During the Holiday Season

Jason Reese

Parking Lot Accidents Peak During the Holiday Shopping Season

Parking lot accidents naturally trend this time of year, naturally because of the heavy shopping season and more people congregating in centralized areas. These temporary homes to hundreds of cars and trucks quickly become a mixed bag of preoccupied, impatient, distracted, and hurried drivers where everyone, including pedestrians, are at risk of being involved in a personal injury related accident. In fact, the National Safety Council says parking lot and garage structures result in more than 60,000 injuries each year. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports an average of 1,621 people are killed annually in crashes involving parking lots across the U.S. each year. The most common parking lot accidents happen when a vehicle is:

  1. Exiting a Parking Lot Space, Into a Lane of Traffic. In a parking lot, drivers in the traffic lane always have the right of way. When pulling forward and into the parking lot traffic, always stop to look both ways before entering the lane and wait until it is safe to move forward.
  2. The Double Back Up. This happens when two drivers back up into each other and both are responsible for the decision making, movement, and checking to make sure the route was clear. In this type of accident both drivers will share fault for the accident.
  3. Backing into a Moving Car. This type of parking lot accident is seen more than others and happens when the driver who is backing out did not take the proper precautions to back up safely.

Other parking lot accidents can occur when a driver is rushing to get a space and they collide with another driver doing the same thing. Parking lots rules are similar to those on a roadway. The driver making a turn across traffic must yield to oncoming traffic. Bumper collisions are also common in parking lots and typically caused by the second in line driver not paying attention or when the car in front stops suddenly. Drivers are expected to provide enough distance between their car and the vehicle in front of them to avoid a rear-end collision.

Pedestrians Are No Match for a Moving Vehicle

Although most parking lot accidents tend to involve vehicle damage only, injuries and fatalities do happen, and they typically involve pedestrians. On average, 91,000 people are injured in parking lot related crashes each year. Some drivers make the mistake of traveling through shared pedestrian walkways to find parking spots. When this happens, they can’t always see a pedestrian who is in a blind spot or being blocked by other vehicles. Drivers should keep an extra lookout for pedestrians who are:

  • traveling with children and strollers;
  • unloading or returning their cart;
  • at the entrance or exit of a building using parking lot crosswalks.

If you are involved in a parking lot accident this holiday season, whether minor or catastrophic, the first thing you should do is try your best to stay calm. Your actions are important to ensure you receive the proper medical treatment needed. In addition, innocent bystanders who witnessed the wreck can serve as support. As an accident witness, you can provide just a few simple facts to help others cope with the situation and even help a victim’s outcome for better medical compensation, so they can recover quickly. Consider offering your time and provide your take on the scene to help crash investigators make the area safer for other drivers.

Experienced Car Accident Attorneys in Indiana

The attorneys at Wagner Reese have more than 50 years of experience in representing people who have been through a difficult injury and accident experience. If tragedy strikes and you or someone you love is injured in a parking lot related driving accident, please call the vehicular accident attorneys at Wagner Reese for a free consultation. If you would like legal advice on an accident, call us at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation. You can also share additional details with us by submitting our online form.


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