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Tips to Prevent a Parking Lot Accident

Most people assume if they just follow the road rules and slow down as needed, they’ll avoid an auto accident. After all, there’s nothing to worry about if they’re not in traffic or speeding down the road, right? Well, the National Safety Council stated that nearly 60,000 injuries and over 500 fatalities also occur in parking garages and parking lots. So yes, it can be just as dangerous driving at 5 miles per hour as it is at 65. Even if you don’t get hurt, a simple collision can ruin your day or longer, depending on repair and fault factors. Fortunately, there are some effective tips for preventing a parking lot accident altogether.

Keep it Slow

Whether visiting the mall or a grocery store, community shopping centers aren’t race tracks or freeways. So there’s no reason to drive like they are. Regardless of how someone else tears out of their spot or whips around a corner, set a safety precedence for yourself and slow down. Shopping carts, cars, pedestrians, and other items could appear at any time. The best rule of thumb is to keep the speed at 5 mph around any potential interference and only increase slightly once you’re clear.

Ditch the Distractions

Most accidents can be avoided, and that definitely includes parking lot accidents. One of the most common causes is distraction. It may seem relatively harmless to type up a quick text or play with the GPS system while rolling through a short lot lane, but tell that to the person whose entire day you’re about to ruin after plowing them into three parked cars. If you have to answer the phone, send a text, or figure out where you’re going, pull into an empty spot and shift into park until the task is completed. Distractions even at 5 mph can lead to needing a Michigan car accident attorney.

Park with Purpose

Being an annoying or selfish driver can create tempers and lead to road rage even in parking lots. Avoid the trouble by parking with purpose and using some common parking etiquette. You don’t have to be perfect every time you’re in a parking lot. But at least pull forward and straight into a spot that’s big enough for your vehicle and don’t straddle spaces or get too close to another car. If you can find an unoccupied pull-through spot, grab it so you’re ready to pull out forward when you leave. A little common sense and consideration of others go a long way towards avoiding an auto accident.

Signal Your Intentions

You may think other drivers and pedestrians know you’re ready to back out, but others really can’t read your mind. Brake and reverse lights aren’t always enough to get the attention needed to avoid trouble. You have a turn signal for a reason, so use that whenever pulling in or leaving a spot. That extra warning can be all it takes to remind other drivers to pay attention too.

Watch and Pay Attention

Slips and falls are the leading cause of accidental death in older Americans. And with the amount of precipitation and snow in the Midwest, those occur often in parking lots. Pedestrian and driving slippage can occur at any time, so watch for it and pay attention. A car in front of you could stop on a dime and lead to you plowing into them. And the moving vehicle is almost always the one cited in a parking lot-related auto accident. Follow these tips to stay in the clear. But if you still need a competent Michigan car accident attorney, we’re just a call away.

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