When most people think about North Carolina car accidents, they usually imagine crashes on highways or busy city streets. But according to national statistics, almost 20 percent of all crashes happen in parking lots. And it is not just vehicle drivers and passengers who can suffer parking lot accident injuries, but pedestrians are especially at risk and vulnerable to these type of incidents.
Parking Lot Accident Causes
Although parking lot crashes can happen at any time, the winter months often show an increase in the number of reported accidents that occur in parking lots. This is often due to poor weather conditions, such as ice and snow, which can make driving treacherous. Other causes include:
- Distracted drivers
- Traffic congestion
- Vehicles backing out
- Poor maintenance of parking lot
- No traffic law enforcement
Avoiding Parking Lot Accidents
There is no sure way to prevent all accidents, especially those caused by negligent drivers, but there are some steps you can take to minimize your risks of being in a parking lot crash, especially during time where parking lots tend to be more congested, such as during the holiday season, long weekends, or even right before a bad storm hits when everyone is rushing to grocery stores for the mandatory milk and bread.
If you are walking:
- Try to avoid walking in the middle of the parking lot lane, instead, keep to the side.
- In the winter months, wear boots or other non-slip footwear when you know you will be walking in areas that could be icy.
- Distracted walking is just as dangerous as distracted driving. Keep your phone in your pocket and avoid talking, texting, checking social media, or any other activity. Stay focused on what is going on around you.
- If you see a vehicle approaching you, make eye contact with the driver. Never assume the driver sees you.
If you are driving:
- Do whatever necessary activity – buckling your seatbelt, adjusting mirrors, setting radio – before you pull out of the parking space. And speaking of seatbelts, make sure you buckle up always, even in parking lots.
- Pay attention to lane designations and posted speed limits.
- Stop at any stop signs in the parking lot.
- Turn on headlights, even during the day.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Park away from the entrance where it usually less crowded.
Contact a Carolinas Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a parking lot accident – whether you were walking or were in a vehicle – contact a North Carolina car accident lawyer. The legal team at Shapiro & Appleton is dedicated to helping injured clients obtain the compensation they deserve for their medical bills, lost income, and other losses their injuries have caused. Call 800-752-0042 for a free case evaluation.