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We Bet You Didn’t Know This about Parking Lot Accidents!

Published on August 17th, 2017 by The Illinois Hammer Injury Law Firm

There’s a dangerous misperception in parking lots that because everyone is moving slowly no serious damage can be done. Despite slow speeds, many drivers are still preoccupied as they pull out of a spot, changing the radio station or looking for their sunglasses. Meanwhile, pedestrians are focused on their phone or trying to remember where they parked their car. Distractions are at an all-time high, so although most cars are moving slowly, the lack of focus by all parties is extremely dangerous.

According to the National Safety Council, there were more than 50,000 parking lot accidents last year, which caused more than 60,000 injuries, and 500 fatalities.

For your safety, we’d like to take a moment to breakdown some of the elements of a parking lot accident.

Who Has the Right Away?

  • There are two types of lanes in a parking lot: the thoroughfares and the feeders. Thoroughfares connect the parking lot to the road, and feeders connect to the thoroughfares. Thus, vehicles in the thoroughfares have the right away.
  • If you are exiting a parking spot, the vehicles driving in the feeder lane have the right away. Unless they are obviously waiting for your spot, yield to cars in the feeder lane.
  • Pedestrians have the right away when a car is backing out of a spot. A driver must yield to the pedestrian.
  • There is also shared responsibility. Two cars backing out of a spot simultaneously may have uncertainty when deciding who has the right away. The car that began backing out first should have the right away. It may be difficult to determine who started backing out first, but staying alert and communicating with the other driver will prevent an accident where both cars will be cited for shared responsibility of the accident.

Common Injuries in Parking Lot Accidents

  • Whiplash
  • Concussions
  • Contusions
  • Bone Fractures

Preventative Measures

  • Be settled before you set your car in motion. This means don’t search for your sunglasses as you drive, already have on your seatbelt, and don’t wait until you are moving to adjust your radio. Be as alert as you are when you’re driving 70 mph on the highway.
  • If you are walking through a parking lot don’t look down at your phone or have in headphones. Keep your head on a swivel. Although a driver shares the responsibility of your safety, relying on drivers to look out for you isn’t the safest approach.
  • Keep in mind who has the right away at all times. Being a defensive driver saves lives.
  • Be aware that children may be more difficult to see behind your vehicle, and take special care to look.
  • Be sure to defog your windows, deice, and remove the snow from your vehicle before you begin to drive.

Should you be in a parking lot accident please contact us to help assess your case. When trying to determine the at-fault party, insurance companies will consider police reports, eye-witness accounts, photos of the accident, and other factors. Even if an insurance company finds you at fault, you should consult with an attorney to determine if you have a case worth pursuing.

For more information please call 1‑800‑487‑8669.

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