When we think about motor vehicle accidents in Boston, we typically imagine high-speed collisions that occur on the interstate or other roadways. But believe it or not, about 20 percent of auto insurance claims are actually related to accidents that occur in parking lots. The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association conducted a study on parking lot accidents, and found that the main contributing factors are distraction and low visibility. Add snow and ice to the mix, and you have a recipe for disaster.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 92,000 people were injured in non-traffic motor vehicle accidents between 2012 and 2014. About 1,900 more were killed. Of those injured and killed, approximately a third were cyclists or pedestrians. A Boston auto accident attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.
Causes of Parking Lot Accidents
Parking lot accidents can occur year round, but they are most prevalent during winter months when snow and ice create hazardous conditions. The most common causes of parking lot accidents include:
- Poor parking lot maintenance
- Traffic congestion (especially during the holidays)
- Distracted drivers
- Vehicles backing out
- Lack of enforcement of traffic laws
Tips to Prevent Parking Lot Accidents
The following tips will help you avoid being injured or killed in a parking lot accident. With an increase in parking lot chaos during the holidays, it’s especially important to use extra caution at this time of year. Simply looking both ways before you cross a road or intersection can save your life.
- Avoid walking down the center of a parking lot aisle. Keep to the side and watch for cars at all times.
- When walking in a parking lot in winter, wear non-slip footwear, such as boots or attachable treads.
- NEVER talk on the phone, text, or send emails while you are walking through a parking lot. Keep your head up at all times.
- If a vehicle is approaching you, make eye contact with the driver. Don’t assume they can see you.
- Adjust your mirrors, stereo, and buckle up before you pull out of your parking space.
- Parking lot speed limits signs and lane designations are put there for a reason. Don’t speed or cut across lanes.
- Stop at a parking lot stop sign just as you would a roadway stop sign.
- Keep in mind that a thick blanket of snow muffles sounds.
- Be on the lookout for snow blowers, people shoveling, and snow plows. A MA auto accident attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.
- Turn on headlights, even during the day.
- Avoid the crowded areas, park away from the entrance.
- Park in well-lit areas
- Always wear your seatbelt, even in a parking lot.
About a quarter of all parking lot accidents involve a vehicle that is backing up. Fortunately, most of these accidents are easily preventable. Use your mirrors, never drive distracted, obey signs, drive slowly, and always wear your seatbelt. Doing so will dramatically reduce your risk of being seriously injured or killed in a parking lot accident. Continue reading