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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.