While most people associate car accidents with intersections and highways, they also commonly occur in parking lots. Parking lots can be busy, cramped, and confusing—all of which make them prime locations for car accidents.
According to EHS Today, parking lot accidents are no minor events, and they are often more serious than people think. More than 50,000 of these accidents occur each year, resulting in more than 60,000 injuries and as many as 500 deaths.
Among the most common causes of parking lot accidents, is distracted driving and speeding. Drivers fail to look before pulling out or into spaces, race other drivers to get a prime location, and often disregard parking lot signs and traffic signals directly to stop or yield to oncoming cars.
As a result of collisions, drivers can suffer potentially serious injuries such as muscle strains and sprains, broken bones, whiplash, and concussions. It is not only drivers and their passengers who are at risk. Pedestrians face significant dangers when walking through parking lots, either from cars pulling out or from collisions that occur near store entrances and exits.
What Types of Accidents Happen in Parking Lots?
Several different types of collisions can occur in a parking lot. However, certain types of accidents are more common than others.
Some of the most common causes of parking lot collisions include but are not limited to:
- The most common are backup accidents. For example, a driver may back out from a parking spot into the aisle and right into another vehicle. This vehicle might also be parked or perhaps driving down the aisle of the lot. Sometimes two drivers backing out at the same time hit each other without ever seeing each other.
- Making fast blind turns
- Driving too fast for the weather, pavement, and traffic conditions
- Poor pavement conditions like potholes and debris
- Distracted and aggressive driving can also become a risk factor in these accidents. For example, a driver might see an empty space in a crowded lot and then aggressively turn in front of an oncoming vehicle, leading an accident.
- Failing to obey the right of way
- Failing to obey a stop sign because of going too fast
- Another common accident occurs when one car is rear-ended by another. Perhaps the driver had to stop quickly because a car was backing out and the car behind them failed to stop in time.
- Finally, pedestrians are also commonly hit in parking lots. These injuries can be especially dangerous for pedestrians because they can lead to falls, broken limbs, and even head injuries when they make an impact with the ground. With a few safety measures, they can be easily avoided.
What Can You Do After a Parking Lot Injury?
If you have been injured in any kind of parking lot accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation depending on the law and assuming, of course, that you can prove someone else was at fault.