You may not be on high alert in a
parking lot or garage, but these areas are riskier than you may think. The
National Safety Council reports there are more than 50,000 crashes in parking
lots and garages every year that result in more than 500 deaths and 60,000
injuries annually. The actual numbers may be even higher because many people do
not report their fender benders to insurance.

Distraction
in a Parking Lot and Garage

It makes sense that you might let
your guard down while driving in a parking lot or in a parking garage. After
all, there is no fast traffic, no lights, and no stop signs.

So what could go wrong?

In a March 2016 opinion poll for
the National Safety Council, 66% of drivers admitted they would make a phone
call while driving through a parking lot and 56% said they would text or send
or receive emails.  

Among teenagers, ages 15 to 17,
59% said they were more likely to engage in personal grooming while driving in
parking lots and 60% said they were likely to be on the phone, slightly less
than adults.

Consider that parking lots or
garage drivers may also be distracted by their kids in the back seat. They may
have had a long day and would rather be somewhere else. They may think it’s a
good time to catch up with emails or social media posts, but the statistics say
otherwise.

Holiday shopping sales also bring
out more inexperienced drivers who don’t normally navigate parking lots. The
bottom line is distraction in a parking lot or garage allows people to lower
their normally cautious behavior that they exhibit while on the road.

Who
is Likely to Get Hurt in a Parking Lot?

Before you back up, it’s very
important you know who is behind your car. An NSC analysis found that 9% of
pedestrian deaths in parking lots occurred when a driver backed up on an
individual. This could include someone who is small and can’t be seen, such as
a child, or a slow moving adult.

A University of Alabama
Birmingham study found 67% of child pedestrians, ages 2 to 10, were in a
parking lot unsupervised. Even when a parent is present, it is not uncommon for
a child to dart ahead and run into the path of a vehicle.

Nationally, the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2007 estimated 5,000 children under
the age of 14 were injured and 205 killed in parking lots, driveways, and
private property.

Unfortunately, pedestrian deaths
are on the rise as more people attempt to exercise on roadways that are not
especially pedestrian-friendly. NHTSA reports a 3% increase in pedestrian
deaths in 2018, which added up to 6,283 deaths.

Don’t contribute to the
statistics.

When preparing to back up your
vehicle, please do not just rely on the rearview mirrors. It’s best to turn
around and if you are unsure, actually walk around the car to make sure the
path is clear.

Driving
in a Parking Lot

Because there might be a wide-open
area to drive in a parking lot, that does not mean you should do so. It is
likely that others may also think they can ignore the directions and lanes and
just take a short cut, cutting right in front of you.

A motor vehicle accident can
change the course of your life forever. If you injure a pedestrian in a parking
lot, you will likely be seen as the at-fault party and that makes your defense
particularly difficult. 

If you are the injured one, being
hit by a vehicle is one of the most devastating harms you can suffer and if you
survive, recovery may be long and difficult.

Reeves & Mestayer wants to
remind everyone, particularly during the busy holiday shopping season, to pay
attention to your surroundings in a parking lot or garage and do everything
possible to avoid a collision. 

If you have been injured, please
call us as soon as you can so we can help you access medical care and seek the
compensation you are due from the at-fault driver. We will also determine your
non-economic damages such as physical pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment and
consortium.

Reach us in our Biloxi office at
855-558-2977 or 228-300-2754 to schedule your free consultation. We look
forward to speaking with you.  

The post Collisions in Parking Lots and Parking Garages appeared first on Reeves & Mestayer | Personal Injury Attorneys in Biloxi.

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