While common sense dictates that people should maintain low speeds in parking lots for the safety of themselves and others, plenty of motorists rapidly accelerate and maneuver aggressively in parking lots. A large number of motorists also admit to using their phones in parking lots even if they typically do not use their digital devices on the open road.
Multiple distracted parties in close proximity to one another is a perfect recipe for a collision, which is exactly what crash statistics concerning parking lot crashes illustrate.
A large portion of collisions occur in parking lots
According to an analysis of domestic crash reports, roughly 20% or one in five collisions occur in parking lots in the United States. However, when one considers that many parking lot collisions may not result in a police report, the risk may be even higher than people realize.
Although many vehicles in parking lots travel at low speeds, even low speeds can be a major issue for pedestrians and cyclists. A motorist slowly backing out of a parking spot could knock someone down and cause a brain injury or severe fractures that require hospitalization. Motorists traveling at higher speeds could very easily cause property damage if they strike another vehicle and major injuries to pedestrians if they don’t stop in time.
Liability can be complex in parking lot cases
When a crash occurs on private property rather than on a road, there may be additional types of liability in play. When issues like poor parking lot maintenance or visibility problems related to lighting or overgrown vegetation contributed to the crash, parties affected may need to look carefully into their options for compensation.
Although typically it will still be the motorist who causes the crash who will be to blame for the situation and will therefore have to provide liability insurance coverage to the people affected, there may be scenarios in which the business or property owner has some liability for a parking lot collision.
Identifying parking lots as high-risk locations when it comes to motor vehicle crashes can help keep drivers and pedestrians a bit safer while out in public. After all, when it comes to reducing crash risk, knowledge is power.