Even for seasoned drivers parking lots represent a certain kind of challenge. Close confines and a myriad of potential hazards pose a risk to both pedestrians and drivers.
The National Safety Council estimates that more than 500 people are killed and 60,000 injured in accidents in parking lots every year. To avoid becoming another statistic, here are five tips for driving in parking lots to prevent parking lot accidents. For more information on protecting your legal rights and securing fair compensation following a parking lot accident, contact Coye Law Firm for car accident claims.
The easiest way to reduce the frequency of parking lot accidents is by easing off the accelerator pedal. Even relatively slow speeds like 20 or 25mph significantly increase your stopping distance in the event of a potential hazard. In lots, where hazards can approach for any direction, being able to quickly bring the car to a halt will make you and everyone around you safer.
In a parking lot always drive below the stated speed limit. In the absence of a speed limit, you should not exceed speeds of 5 or 10mph to avoid potential accidents.
Use All Your Mirrors
While your wing mirrors may not be as useful as the rear-view mirror whilst driving at high speeds, in parking lots, they are a valuable tool. Wing mirrors are crucial for detecting doors being opened and unforeseen moving hazards approaching your vehicle. Use all of your mirrors to keep tabs on any change in your surroundings.
Be Clear in Your Signalling
Pedestrians and other motorists are not mind readers. In the confines of a parking lot, it becomes even more essential to be clear in your signalling. Use your turn signal early to indicate your intentions to those around you and give ample warning before executing any parking maneuvers.
Given the hazards present in parking lots, it is highly advisable to remove all distractions within the car when maneuvering into a parking space. Not talking on the phone and switching the radio off will help hear any impending dangers. You may think you can multitask, but keeping your attention firmly fixed on your surroundings will help avoid bumps and scrapes.
Expect the Worst
Always assuming that a potential hazard will emerge from parked cars will help keep you vigilant and alert to your surroundings. Assuming that a child will emerge from two parked cars, a door will unexpectedly open, and a car will reverse without seeing you will help you prepare for every eventuality and react swiftly to avoid any collisions.
By adopting these five safe driving tips for navigating parking lots, you can drastically reduce the likelihood of your vehicle becoming involved in a parking lot collision. If you are involved in a collision, and you believe it wasn’t your fault, be sure to contact legal counsel at the earliest opportunity to find out how you can protect your legal rights and claim adequate compensation for any damage to yourself or your vehicle.