Avoiding Parking Lot Accidents
The holiday season is a busy time of year for everyone. It’s a time full of activities that keep everyone busy. Unfortunately, that tends to make people distracted. When people are distracted behind the wheel of a car, accidents tend to occur. However, these accidents don’t just happen on roads. Parking lot accidents are far more common than some might think.
Around the holiday season, parking lots are fuller than usual. After all, people still have plenty of holiday shopping to do. With all the rush, people aren’t always paying attention, and they make mistakes. While they seem minor, parking lot accidents can lead to serious outcomes.
Typically, these accidents include a moving vehicle and a walking pedestrian, but they can involve more than one car. Just like when you are on the road, you must stay vigilant while in parking lots. If not, you could find yourself in a parking lot accident.
During this time of year, people still have a lot of holiday shopping to do, from getting last-minute gifts to buying ingredients for Christmas dinners. Regardless, you need to pay attention to your surroundings to avoid parking lot accidents. If you do find yourself in one of these accidents, contact the Oklahoma personal injury attorneys at AMA Law and let us help you.
Parking Lot Accident Statistics
Over the holiday season, parking lots around the country are full of holiday shoppers. Most people are in a rush and often distracted, meaning they are less likely to pay attention to their surroundings, which often leads to parking lot accidents.
To give you a better understanding of the dangers of parking lot accidents, here are some telling statistics:
- According to EHS, more than 50,000 accidents occur in parking lots and parking garages every year.
- Parking lot accidents result in over 60,000 injuries and over 500 deaths.
- In the National Safety Council’s (NSC) public opinion poll, 66% of drivers admitted to making phone calls while driving through parking lots.
- In the same poll, respondents also said they would:
- Program their GPS systems (63%)
- Text (56%)
- Use social media (52%)
- Send or receive emails (50%)
- Take photos or watch videos (49%)
- According to the NSC, teens were more likely than adults to engage in personal grooming (59% vs. 53%).
- Adults were more likely to be on their phones than teens (66% vs. 60%).
- Roughly 20% of all car accidents occur in parking lots.
Common Parking Lot Injuries
Parking lot accidents occur far more often than people might expect. While they seem minor, you should remember that parking lots are full of pedestrians walking to and from their cars. If drivers are not careful, they can strike one of these pedestrians.
Even if these accidents involve two vehicles, they can cause serious injuries. Some of these injuries include:
- Cuts, scrapes, and abrasions
- Sprains and strains
- Broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- Back injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Organ damage
As you can imagine, these accidents are far more severe if they involve a vehicle and a pedestrian. With so many people (including children) walking around parking lots, it’s vital that all drivers pay attention to their surroundings.
Types of Parking Lot Accidents
Not every parking lot accident looks the same or even results in the same outcomes. Some only lead to minor injuries, while others are far more severe. Regardless, you should always treat these accidents seriously.
Some of the most common types of parking lot accidents the Oklahoma personal injury attorneys at AMA Law handle include:
- One car hitting another parked car.
- Two cars backing out of their parking space and hitting each other.
- Two cars collide as they both attempt to get the same parking space.
- One car pulling forward through a parking space hits another car traveling down the lane.
- One car backing out of a parking space hits an oncoming car driving down the lane.
- Because parking lots often contain unexpected starts and stops, rear-end collisions often happen.
- A car pulls outs of their parking space alongside a busy street into traffic and hits an oncoming car.
- A car pulls out or pulls forward and hits a pedestrian walking through the parking lot.
Parking lot accidents can occur in a host of situations and can involve several parties. Not only are parking lots full of walking pedestrians and moving cars, but they also have sudden starts and stops. Because there are so many different things going on, you must eliminate all other distractions while driving through a parking lot to keep yourself safe.
Parking lot accidents happen more often than people might expect, even more so during the holiday season. Regardless of the time of year, however, all drivers must stay on alert and avoid all distractions to prevent parking lot accidents.
Our Oklahoma personal injury law firm has provided some useful safety tips to prevent these accidents:
- Avoid all distractions (such as texting, talking on the phones, applying makeup, eating, etc.).
- Drive slowly and use your turn signals.
- Stay in lanes and do not cut across the parking lot.
- Obey any and all traffic signs.
- Pay attention when backing out, using your sideview and rearview mirrors to look for oncoming traffic or pedestrians.
- When driving through parking lots, be on the lookout for pedestrians and small children.
- Obey Oklahoma’s right-of-way laws.
These are just a handful of safety tips to prevent parking lot accidents. However, in some cases, these aren’t enough. While you can take all the safety precautions in the world, you cannot control the actions of others.
What to Do Following an Accident
Even the most careful person in the world can find themselves in an accident. Often, it’s because of the negligence or recklessness of another driver. As with all car accidents, there are steps you should take following a parking lot accident.
- Never leave the scene of the accident. However, if the owner of the car is not there, and you cannot wait any longer, leave a note with your driver’s license number, license plate number, insurance information, and all other contact information.
- Contact the police. A police officer will arrive, collect witness statements, the contact information of both vehicle owners, and create an accident report.
- Collect evidence. Take pictures of the scene of the accident, the damage of both vehicles, any other property damage, and injuries. Use multiple angles, as well.
- Gather information. Collect the contact information of the other vehicle owner, their license plate number, their driver’s license number, and insurance information.
- Seek medical attention. Regardless of if you think your injuries are minor, seek medical attention. Many injuries do not make themselves known until well after the accident occurred, which hurts your chances of seeking compensation.
- Contact your insurance company. Reach out to your insurance company to open up a claim following the accident
- Contact a personal injury attorney. Following a parking lot accident, contact a personal injury attorney to learn what your options are. They will help you seek compensation for the damages and injuries you sustained.
Contact AMA Law
Parking lot accidents happen year-round. However, due to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, they tend to occur far more often during this time of year. These accidents don’t just involve vehicles. Pedestrians are always walking through parking lots and are often the victims of these accidents.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries or damages in a parking lot accident, contact the Oklahoma personal injury law firm at AMA Law and let us help. Our team of attorneys has the skills, resources, and experience to fight for the compensation and justice you deserve.