Car Accidents in Parking Lots: Top 5 Important Facts

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Parking Lot Car Accidents: Why They’re So Common and Steps to Take Afterward

Parking Lot Car Accidents: Why They’re So Common and Steps to Take Afterward

Dec 18, 2023

Distracted driving is attributed to more than 3,000 deaths every year in the United States. But while many of us are familiar with dangerous behaviors behind the wheel such as texting & driving on roads and highways, it may come as a surprise to learn that distracted driving car accidents commonly occur in parking lots and garages.

In fact, parking lots and garages are far more dangerous than most drivers realize – with countless crashes involving serious injuries occurring annually.

In this blog, we will review the Top 5 Important Facts About Parking Lot Car Accidents. We’ll also provide information on what to do after a parking lot accident, steps to help avoid parking lot car crashes, and how to hire the best personal injury lawyer to ensure that you secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve.

Top 5 Important Facts About Car Accidents in Parking Lots & Garages

A recent study from the National Safety Council (NSC) found that parking lots are “riskier than you think.” We’ve compiled the Top 5 Statistics on Parking Lot Car Accidents below to help keep you safe.

  1. Parking lot accidents happen every day (and far more often than most people realize): Tens of thousands of car accidents occur each year in parking lots and garages, the NSC confirms.
  2. Parking lot accidents often cause serious injuries: Car accidents occurring in parking lots and garages result in thousands of injuries every year in the U.S. But this type of car crash can also be deadly. As the NSC confirms, hundreds of deaths are caused annually as a result of car accidents in parking lots and garages.
  3. Parking lot accidents are often a result of distracted driving: The vast majority of parking lot accidents are due to distracted driving. In fact, as many as two-thirds of drivers may be pulling into shopping centers, parking lots, and parking garages distracted, according to a report from CBS News.
  4. Drivers report feeling more comfortable sending texts in parking lots: The NSC conducted a survey with American drivers, and the results were troubling. As many as 66% of drivers reported feeling comfortable making phone calls while driving in parking lots. The survey’s further findings – all of which were alarming – included:
    1. 63% of respondents said they often programmed GPS systems while driving in parking lots.
    2. 56% of respondents said they often texted while driving in parking lots.
    3. 52% of respondents said they often used social media while driving in parking lots.
    4. 50% respondents said they often sent or received emails while driving in parking lots.
    5. 49% respondents said they often took photos or watched videos while driving in parking lots.
    6. Parking lot accident increase during the holidays: During the holiday shopping season, drivers are more likely to be distracted while behind the wheel. And this can be particularly applicable to parking lot accidents. In fact, while drivers are often busy with holiday shopping to-do lists or getting from one place to another, they commonly cause car accident injuries and even deaths. The NSC confirms that car insurance companies report a spike in the number of injury claims on Black Friday. That increase continues through the holiday shopping season, with up to 14% of auto insurance accident claims happening in parking lots and garages. However, as the NSC notes, the true number of parking lot car accidents which happen around the winter holidays may actually be much higher, as countless fender-benders go unreported.

    Additionally, the NSC found that 53% of teenage drivers were likely to engage in personal grooming – a serious type of distracted driving – while behind the wheel.

    Furthermore, many drivers are under the mistaken impression that, due to the slower speeds in parking lots and garages, these areas are safer. This can give drivers a “false sense of security,” according to CBS News.

    Even though people tend to drive a lot slower in a place like this, the consequences of distraction and other driving mistakes can be deadly,” CBS reported.

    “It’s just as dangerous to be distracted in a parking lot going 5 mph as it is going 50 mph,” National Safety Council president Deborah Hersman said in an interview with CBS News.

    Steps for Avoiding Parking Lot Car Accidents

    Steps for Avoiding Parking Lot Car Accidents
    As mentioned above, the most important factor in parking lot car accidents is distracted driving. Accordingly, never engage in a behavior like texting while driving – even if you feel a parking lot is a less likely place for an accident to occur. Despite potentially believing that parking lots and garages are actually less dangerous than roadways, it’s strongly recommended that you practice the same types of safe driving habits you otherwise would on highways while traveling at low speeds in parking lots.

    Additional tips for avoiding parking lot car accidents (particularly during the holiday shopping season) include:

    • Stay alert at all times (check your surroundings closely when in parking lots and garages)
    • Stay in lanes and avoid cutting across parking lots, garages, and shopping centers
    • Drive slowly and use directional signals (always use caution and be aware of blind spots)
    • Try to anticipate the actions of other drivers (practice defensive driving)
    • Obey all parking lot stop signs and no-parking signs
    • Watch for small children and parents with baby strollers
    • When backing out of your parking spot, be mindful of vehicles and pedestrians

    The last point on the above list of parking lot safety tips is critical, according to the NSC. As the government organization notes:

    “9% of pedestrian deaths in parking lots result from backup incidents. Many vehicles today are equipped with backup cameras, but that view may not be clear if the camera lens becomes obstructed.”

    The NSC offers the following three safety reminders for drivers in parking lots who are accessing backup cameras:

    1. Conduct a 360-degree walk-around before backing, keeping an eye out for low-lying objects
    2. Don’t rely on technology; look over your shoulder and use your mirrors as you back up
    3. When parking, pull through on arrival whenever possible and if it works with the flow of traffic

    “Monitoring systems can alert drivers of vehicles in blind spots. Typically, drivers are warned of another vehicle’s presence via symbol, sound or vibration. These systems may not detect motorcycles, smaller objects or people, however,” the NSC added.

    What to Do After a Parking Lot Car Accident: Important Steps to Take

    Car accidents happen every day in Southern California. And while it might not seem like parking lots, parking garages, and supermarket entrances & exits are as dangerous as major highways, if you’ve suffered an injury as a result of this type of crash, there are some important steps to take.

    The first and most important step after any type of car accident is to seek immediate medical treatment. Assessing your injuries and heading directly to either an urgent care center or emergency room is strongly recommended. Even if you feel okay, there are common car accident injuries like whiplash and concussion which may not lead to immediate symptoms (but can be extremely dangerous if not addressed promptly by a licensed physician).

    Additional steps to take after a parking lot car crash include:

    • Remain calm (try to address any urgent medical needs and then focus on the next steps)
    • Exchange contact information with all involved parties (driver’s licenses, emails, phone numbers, etc.)
    • Take photos and videos of your injuries
    • Take photos and videos of the parking lot crash scene
    • Take photos and videos of the damage to the vehicles
    • Contact an experienced and proven car accident & personal injury lawyer from Dordulian Law Group

    By contacting Dordulian Law Group’s (DLG) Glendale, California, car accident attorneys for a free consultation, you’re more likely to recover a maximized cash settlement which covers all of your applicable losses – for things like medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

    It’s recommended that you never speak to the car insurance company without having your attorney present. Additionally, never agree to accept financial compensation without discussing your parking lot accident case with a member of the DLG car crash injury team.

    Contact DLG’s Parking Lot & Garage Accident Attorneys Today for a Free Consultation

    At Dordulian Law Group, our team of personal injury attorneys is dedicated to fighting for justice on behalf of injured victims like you. For over 25 years, the DLG Team, led by former prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County Sam Dordulian, has been helping clients secure maximized cash settlements after serious injuries in car crashes, dog bites, and slip and falls.

    If you’ve been injured in a parking lot car accident, don’t settle for a lowball settlement offer from the insurance company. Contact DLG’s experienced attorneys today by calling 866-GO-SEE-SAM. We’re standing by 24/7 to answer any questions you may have and provide information on all of your available legal options.

    If you believe you have a personal injury case and wish to pursue a claim, don’t hesitate to contact our award-winning expert attorneys online or by phone today.

    Worried about the cost of hiring a private attorney? With DLG’s No Win/No Fee Guarantee, you pay nothing until after we’ve successfully secured a maximized cash settlement on your behalf following a parking lot or garage car accident. If we don’t win, you don’t pay – it’s that simple.

    Call us today at 866-GO-SEE-SAM to take the first step towards securing the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your parking lot car accident injury.

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