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Why You Need to Stay Alert in the Parking Lot

Parking lots can be dangerous, especially if others aren’t paying attention.  According to the National Safety Council (NSC), tens of thousands of accidents occur in parking lots each year.  Ensure that you stay alert in parking lots by avoiding dark, secluded areas, watching for cars backing up, and remaining aware of your surroundings at all times.

In this article, a Little Rock personal injury lawyer explains why parking lots are dangerous, where most accidents occur, parking lot safety tips, and what to do if you are injured in a parking lot accident.

What Makes a Parking Lot Such a Dangerous Place?

Since parking lots are shared spaces for both motorists and pedestrians, it is often not clear who needs to go which way or who has the right of way.  This can lead to confusion and even accidents.

Additionally, parked vehicles can limit visibility for drivers and pedestrians alike, making it difficult to see one another.  When black ice and snow are present in the winter months, these dangers are only magnified.  It is vital to be aware of these dangers and take steps to avoid them.

How Do Parking Lot Accidents Happen?

Parking lots are a part of most people’s daily lives, but they can be a dangerous place when it comes to safety.  Here are some common causes of parking lot accidents.

Negligent Drivers

Injuries suffered in parking lot collisions are often the result of driver negligence.  There is a widespread misconception that no injuries are likely to occur if there is little vehicle damage in a low-impact crash.  However, personal injury lawyers frequently see injuries from low-impact parking lot collisions.

Even if you feel fine following a parking lot accident or your initial injuries appear minor, it is critical that you seek medical attention immediately.  A medical examination may reveal injuries you were unaware of at the time of the accident, so make sure you play it safe.

Pedestrians should be especially wary in parking lots because they face the most significant risk of injury.  Parking lots are often poorly-lit and lack designated pedestrian areas.  While many modern vehicles include cameras and warning sensors, they do not eliminate crashes or injuries entirely.  Some drivers place an excessive amount of trust in technology when a simple glance could prevent injuries from occurring.

Negligent Maintenance

Slip-and-fall accidents are not always the result of being inattentive or clumsy.  Parking lots with poor lighting could cause you to trip over something you could not otherwise see in the dim light.  Regardless of the hazard, it is not always your fault if you get injured.  Parking lot owners are responsible for maintaining a reasonably safe environment and notifying patrons in the event of a dangerous condition.  If you were injured in a parking lot slip-and-fall accident caused by negligent maintenance, you might be entitled to an insurance settlement or civil court award.

5 Parking Lot Safety Tips to Help You Stay Alert

Parking lots are one of the few places where motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists converge and share the same area.  In fact, in terms of accidents, parking lots can be just as dangerous as main roads.

Here are 5 tips to help you stay alert when driving in a parking lot:

Tip #1: Take it Slow

The first rule of parking lot driving is to be cautious and drive slowly.  Parking lots can be frustrating, especially when there is a high volume of foot and motor traffic during your search for a space.  However, it is critical that you move at a slow pace to avoid parking lot collisions and ensure the safety of those around you.

Tip #2: Avoid Distractions

If you’re listening to music, looking at your shopping list on your phone, checking on your kids in the backseat, and drinking a hot cup of coffee, you’re doing four things at the same time that can distract you from driving.  As a result, you significantly increase your chances of cutting someone off or colliding with a pedestrian or another vehicle.  Limit these distractions until you park your car safely.

Tip #3: Pay Attention to Obstacles

There may be lots of activity outside of your car.  However, even if there aren’t many people around, you must maintain a constant state of awareness for potential obstacles.  Pedestrians frequently pay little attention to their surroundings; as a driver, you must be on the lookout for them at all times.  Keep an eye out for distracted drivers who pull out of parking spaces without looking.  Additionally, watch out for runaway shopping carts, which are especially dangerous on windy days.

Tip #4: Be Aware of Blind Spots

Adjust your mirrors properly so that you can see everything around you.  However, keep in mind that even perfectly-aligned mirrors have blind spots, so do not rely solely on your mirrors.  Make an effort and take the time to turn around and look behind you before and during any backup maneuver.

Tip #5: Choose Your Parking Spot Wisely

If you park on the outskirts of the parking lot, you can avoid much of the congestion that takes place.  You will also get some extra exercise walking to and from each building you visit.  Additionally, look for parking spaces that allow you to pull completely through, with your front end facing out.  When it’s time to leave, it may be more convenient for you to pull out forward rather than back up into a busy parking lot aisle.

What to Do if You Get Injured in an Arkansas Parking Lot

Even the most cautious person can be injured in a parking lot accident at no fault of their own.  If another driver has injured you, it is critical that you seek experienced legal representation to protect your legal rights and negotiate a fair insurance settlement that you deserve.

Contact Beacon Legal Group for a free consultation by calling (501) 907-9539, texting (865) 412-4125, or messaging us online.  Our personal injury attorneys will examine the facts, gather information about your case, and fight for every penny owed.

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