Being in a car accident is one of the most unfortunate things that can happen to you while on the move. While most people assume that car accidents occur only on freeways or busy intersections, there is another culprit – parking lots.
Drivers may tend to be more careless or distracted in parking lots, leading to a host of accidents, from scratches to more serious collisions. However, parking lot accidents are easily preventable. Adding a few structural changes to the parking lot and paying attention to your surroundings can drastically reduce the chances of being in a car accident through improving car park safety. In this article, we’ll give you nine smart ways to reduce collisions.
1. Avoid any distractions
As a driver, the most important thing you must do while behind the wheel is to be hyper-aware of your surroundings when in a parking lot. Resist the temptation to check your phone, scroll through social media, go through your calendar, or be distracted by music. Not only will this reduce your chances of being in a car accident, but you’ll also be less likely to get into an accident at all if you maintain situational awareness while driving. Practice these basic safety tips before hitting the road – they could save your life.
Not paying attention to cars and people around you in a parking lot can cause great harm to both pedestrians and other cars. You are very likely to drive into another car or a passerby if your eyes are not on the road.
Turn down the music, keep your phone away, and do not snack or drink your coffee while you’re driving around the parking lot. If you drive with kids, ensure that they are secure in their seats before you start driving.
2. Use sound barriers
One of the most important ways to avoid accidents in a parking lot is by using sound barriers. This isn’t just for pedestrians or drivers; it can also help protect parked cars from collisions with other vehicles and objects. When choosing which type of barrier to installing, make sure to consider the volume of traffic in the lot and its proximity to other areas.
3. Install cameras
Many parking lots now use CCTV (closed-circuit television) or video surveillance systems, which can be an extremely effective way of protecting both drivers and pedestrians. These systems are often equipped with automatic facial recognition technology, so footage from cameras can be used to identify offenders – whether they’re motorists or pedestrians – much more quickly and effectively than ever before. This means that not only will accidents decrease, but those who cause them may also find themselves facing serious legal consequences.
4. Install wheel stops
If you’re a business owner who has their own parking lot, consider installing wheel stops and speed breakers. Wheel stops prevent cars from parking too far into the curb, which may cause damage to your vehicle’s paint job. Wheel stops also help drivers park their cars safely. Speed breakers ensure that drivers do not drive too fast while inside the lot.
If you find that your community parking lot does not have wheel stops or speed breakers, consider petitioning for them – they prevent accidents and restrict speed limits, which may be particularly useful if the lot is used by families with children.
5. Use mirrors
When you’re in a parking lot, mirrors are your best friends. Use all the mirrors in your car religiously, and take time to look in every direction before you turn. You might also want to use blind spot mirrors to check how close you are to the curb, especially when you must parallel park.
In case you park in parking lots often (or you want to be extra cautious), you can use a backup camera. These cameras show you what’s behind you at all times, which can be particularly useful while reversing out of a parking lot into a busy path. These cameras come pre-installed on most new vehicles.
If you have a parking lot of your own, consider installing convex mirrors in strategic locations and turns so that drivers can watch out before turning into blind spots.
6. Park strategically
The simplest way to avoid parking lot accidents is to park mindfully. Keep your distance from the busiest parking spots to avoid dents and scratches on your car. Although this might involve a long walk to your spot, you will be able to back up with fewer cars around you. Parking in the outskirts will also let you pull out forward instead of backing up because you can park with your car’s front end facing out.
On the bright side, parking farther away than usual means that you get more exercise when you walk from and to your car!
7. Follow the rules
Although it might seem unfair that parking lot operators can set whatever rules they want, these regulations are there for your safety. Know and obey all posted signs, including those that designate no stopping or parking in a certain area. If you do get caught breaking the rules, don’t argue with the attendant; just apologize and plead ignorance (or grab your proof of purchase if you have one).
8. Consider anti-slip mats
Anti-slip mats greatly reduce the risk of accidents if you live in areas with frequent rain, frost, or snow. Rain and frost may make roads more slippery, which poses a danger for both cars and passers-by. They are particularly useful near exits and entrances. Not only do they have a skid-resistant surface that prevents falls and injuries, but they keep the area clean by trapping dirt and debris.
9. Get a designated driver
Another way to avoid parking lot accidents is by opting for a designated driver. This person can watch over your car while you’re out and, if necessary, call for help in case of an accident or theft. Many bars and restaurants offer this service as part of their package deal.
The Bottom Line
Some accidents are more preventable than others, and parking lot accidents can be easily avoided by following these steps. Pay attention to the road and your surroundings, and remember to drive below the speed limit! If you have been injured in a parking lot accident, be sure to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help guide you through the process.