A Sarasota Car Accident Lawyer Discusses the Dangers
Surrounded by stationary and slow-moving cars along with pedestrians on foot, motorists should use the same good driving skills in parking lots as they do on public streets — but they often do not.
Every year, tens of thousands of people are injured and hundreds die in car accidents that occur in parking lots and parking garages.
Parking lots are even more dangerous around the holidays. Research by the National Safety Council (NSC) found that reports of parking lot crashes spike on Black Friday and maintain an above-average incident rate throughout the holidays.
In recent years, Southwestern Florida has experienced several shocking and serious parking lot accidents, including a 2020 car vs. pedestrian accident at the Palm Avenue parking garage in Sarasota.
NSC recently published a study that seeks to explain why parking lots are so dangerous. After surveying drivers nationwide, the council found that motorists are pretty comfortable with driving distracted in parking lots.
Common Parking Lot Crash Factors
The NSC asked thousands of drivers nationwide about their opinion on a variety of subjects, including what activities they participate in while driving in parking lots. They reported a high degree of complacency with regard to distracted driving.
Here are just some of the activities motorists say they do while driving in parking lots:
- 66% say they make phone calls while driving in parking lots
- 63% say they program their GPS systems
- 56% admit to texting
- 52% say they use social media
- 50% engage in sending or receiving emails
- 49% say they take photos or watch videos
The Risk of a Collision is High in a Parking Lot
Among the types of car accidents common in parking lots are:
- A pedestrian gets hit by a car
- A moving car hits a stationary vehicle or object
- Two cars backing up crash into each other
- A vehicle that's backing out of a parking space hits another moving or parked vehicle
- Two cars competing for the same parking spot collide
- One vehicle is rear-ended by another while stopped
When determining fault in a parking lot accident, a handful of factors are typically considered. These include:
- Movement — Whether your vehicle was parked, stationary, or moving at the time of the crash
- Type of individual — Pedestrians and cyclists who are hit by cars in parking lots are rarely at fault
- The spot — Vehicles that are hit and parked in an illegal spot may be held at least somewhat liable
- Exiting — Cars, trucks, motorcycles, and any other type of motorized vehicle leaving a parking spot must yield the right of way to vehicles in the traffic lane
- Traffic signs — Whether the drivers involved followed parking lot traffic signals and signs affects liability. Motorists should not cut across parking spaces or drive diagonally through a parking lot.
Talk to an Attorney if You've Been Injured
Safety advocates say the best way to avoid a parking lot accident is to stay alert, don't operate a vehicle while distracted, and drive defensively.
If you're in Southwestern Florida and you were injured in a parking lot accident due to negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses.
The problem is insurance companies have a financial incentive to pay crash victims as little money as possible, and if you're not careful, you could end up losing out on the compensation you're entitled to.
At Farrow & Pulice, P.A., our attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and resources to handle every aspect of your claim and aggressively advocate for your best interests.
Find out how our law firm can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced Sarasota car accident attorney.