How to Prevent Parking Lot Accidents
The causes of parking lot accidents vary, but the results are much the same; no end of damaged vehicles and frustrated drivers, but worse still, no end of injured pedestrians going to the hospital. Preventing parking lot accidents is a simple duty we all share, but an essential one.
Common Parking Lot Risks
Parking lots demand a level of caution and care from every motorist within them. However, many drivers neglect their duties and drive recklessly; don’t be one such driver. Always make responsible decisions in parking lots to avoid dangerous accidents:
- Pay close attention and avoid distractions. Many drivers view the parking lot as the “end” of their drive, akin to pulling in to their garage at home; as such, they might answer texts, start rolling up windows, turn off the radio, or otherwise stop paying attention to their surroundings. Always keep an extremely close eye on other vehicles and the spaces between them.
- Yield, yield, and yield some more. Yield to pedestrians unconditionally, yield to cars with the right of way at parking lot intersections, yield to other vehicles who are competing for the same parking space, and yield extensively while backing out.
- Use your turn signals. Even if you’re not at a large intersection, turn signals are vital; these can inform others if you intend to pull into a parking space, but also serve their traditional function at crossroads within parking lots.
- Follow the speed limit. Most parking lots have a speed limit as low as 5 mph, but many disregard these postings, driving at 10 to 20 mph or more. Saving 10 seconds in the parking lot is not worth cutting your reaction time for sudden pedestrians or vehicles backing out in half, so always follow the letter of the law, even if it feels slow.
- Consider parking farther away. The biggest reason parking lots are dangerous is the density of vehicles and pedestrians; parking farther away, where cars are sparse, more or less eliminates these risks. Though not strictly necessary, doing so makes you all the safer, and also gives you the opportunity to stay healthy with a slight walk.
Hit-and-runs are common in parking lots, largely due to misconceptions surrounding what actually constitutes a hit-and-run accident. If you hit a parked car, you’ll need to take several steps according to Arizona law:
- Locate the owner of the vehicle, usually inside whatever establishment the parking lot is for. Once you do, inform them that you collided with their car, and then provide your name and address (and that of the owner of the vehicle, if they’re somebody different).
- If you fail to locate the owner of the vehicle after a reasonable attempt to do so, instead leave a note in or on their vehicle in a conspicuous location with the same information as above.
Responding to Arizona Parking Lot Accidents
If you hit a car or a person in a parking lot, don’t panic; you aren’t necessarily at fault for either, and pedestrians can be liable for auto accidents too. Gather basic evidence, talk to any eyewitnesses that were nearby, and then consult one of our Arizona auto accident attorneys at (623) 877-3600 to learn about your next steps. ELG can secure you the compensation you deserve and help you avoid legal pitfalls, so what are you waiting for?