If you’re like most adults, safety probably isn’t your primary concern on your way to your vehicle after exiting a store. You are likely already thinking about your drive home or about turning your recent purchase into dinner. You may not give your safety a second thought, despite walking through an outside space filled with stationary and moving motor vehicles.
Parking lots don’t seem very dangerous compared with streets where drivers travel at much higher speeds. After all, most people drive slowly in parking lots and watch carefully for other vehicles and pedestrians.
However, pedestrians are actually at significant risk of injury or death in parking lots. According to national collision data, roughly 20% of car crashes occur in parking lots every year, and many of those collisions involve pedestrians. Unfortunately, a vehicle backing out of a parking spot could easily cause fatal injuries to someone headed into a store. Why are parking lots so dangerous?
People simply don’t pay attention
The National Safety Council constantly looks into the biggest risks for modern Americans, and distracted driving has been a focal point in their research in recent years. The NSC has found through self-reported data that as many as two-thirds of drivers use technology inappropriately while in parking lots and not on public roads.
People driving in a parking lot might text, post to social media or otherwise have their focus on their phones instead of on their surroundings. These distracted drivers may potentially fail to notice pedestrians and could cause tragic collisions because of their distracted state. Other parking lot crash risks include drivers speeding or trying to perform a dangerous maneuver, like doing donuts in their vehicles.
What rights do injured pedestrians have?
Someone hurt by a negligent driver or family members grieving a tragic, fatal parking lot crash could file an insurance claim. However, pedestrian collisions often lead to massive financial losses, and basic car insurance may not provide enough coverage.
Pedestrian collisions may also necessitate a civil lawsuit if someone hopes to secure full compensation for the financial impact of the collision. Identifying locations where you have an elevated risk of a car crash could potentially help you avoid serious injury.