Parking lots become congested during the holidays. At the end of every year, car accidents in parking lots increase by nearly 20 percent. Even though a collision in a parking lot happens at low speeds, it can cause significant property damage and serious injuries.
Though it may not be possible to stop every parking lot accident, most can be attributed to a few particular causes. Therefore, understanding the underlying causes for parking lot crashes is a good start to avoiding the trauma, irritation, and expense of running into a car, object, or person in a parking lot.
Drivers get into holiday parking lot accidents for many different reasons. A huge problem is distracted driving. A driver trying to text or make a phone call while backing out of a tight parking spot is at a much higher chance of colliding with another vehicle or person. Putting a smartphone on silent and out of sight can reduce the chances of an accident.
Another issue that can lead to a parking lot accident is speeding. Parking lots may not have speed limits posted; however, drivers are not expected to go excessively fast. It is always better to slow down when moving into, around, and out of a parking lot. Speeding will only limit reaction time in the event of a collision.
New drivers and elderly drivers frequently find themselves out of their elements in congested parking lots. Younger drivers, who are usually teenagers or college-age, might not have the experience and know-how to navigate getting in and out of a space. On the other hand, an older driver might not have the flexibility to twist and turn to examine their vehicle’s blind spots.
The layout of the parking lot could contribute to accidents. Not all parking lots are intuitive or streamlined. When a lot of vehicles fill up a small lot, accidents can quickly happen.
Parking lot accidents can take numerous forms. For instance, rear-ending another car is common in a parking lot. Also, many crashes happen at the entrance or exit point as cars move into or out of highway traffic.
Additionally, plenty of car-pedestrian incidents also happen in parking lots. Hitting a child or adult who is walking through the lot with a car can lead to devastating injuries. Even a small car is much heavier than a human, and the force of being hit can send the victim to the emergency room with extensive physical damages.
The majority of parking lot injuries do not lead to fatalities. Nonetheless, parking lot injuries can be serious, depending upon the circumstances. The most common injuries include:
Depending upon the extent of the injury, drivers, pedestrians, and passengers could end up facing a lifetime of very expensive medical treatments.
One way to avoid a holiday parking lot accident is to shop online if it is possible; however, this is not a realistic solution for most people. In order to avoid a parking lot accident, a driver should do the following:
Exhibit Patience: The closer it is to the holidays, the more congested parking lots will be. Motorists should expect that their trips will take longer than normal. Remaining calm and not stressing about waiting for an open parking space or dealing with clogged entrances will help a driver focus on the road.
Be Mindful of Pedestrians: Holiday parking lots are not just filled with vehicles, they are also occupied with pedestrians of all ages. Drivers need to practice defensive driving skills all the time.
Be Observant: By focusing on the movements of other cars in a busy lot, a driver can better navigate the flow of traffic and avoid getting into a crash.
Practice Visibility: Poor weather, including fog, snow, sleet, and rain, can make it difficult to see other drivers and pedestrians. All motorists should turn on their lights, even during the day, to improve their visibility. At the same time, they should try to park near or under lights so they can see what is around their vehicles upon moving in and out of their spots.
Drive Slowly: A driver may want to speed through the parking lot to get to a convenient spot, but it is important that they slow down. Hitting a person or driver in a parking lot can lead to significant injuries.
Most parking lot accidents will lead to relatively minimal personal injuries and damage; however, some holiday parking lot crashes can turn serious, especially at high speeds. A seriously injured victim should consider their legal rights before submitting an insurance claim after a holiday car accident. Talking with a lawyer before making any statement to an insurance adjuster or accepting a settlement negotiation can be a wise decision. If the injury is severe, there will be more complications with a claim. Having a legal professional to handle the case can give the victim and their family time to heal.
During the holiday season, parking lots are heavily congested. If you are the victim of a holiday parking lot accident, speak to one of our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Call us at 302-656-5445 or complete our online form for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.