The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 20% of car accidents take place in commercial parking areas. In many cases, parking lot accidents do not result in any injuries. A parked car may be empty when it is rear-ended or hit by another car. In addition, parking lot accidents in Hollywood and South Florida tend to occur at very low speeds, which also helps keep accidents relatively minor. Despite this, serious crashes do happen in parking areas.
Parking lot accidents can be especially harmful if trucks are involved. Often, commercial trucks enter parking lot areas to drop off and bring back products from retail stores. Since these large trucks share the space with passenger vehicles and pedestrians, crashes can occur. Even at low speeds, the larger size of commercial big rigs and tractor trailers can cause devastating collisions and even loss of life.
It’s an especially common concern at this time of year, when holiday season means more stores are seeing more shipments and more truck deliveries. If you’re headed to the mall or any shopping areas, keep extra alert for truck traffic in parking lots. Here’s how:
1) Stick to areas where truck drivers expect you and can see you.
Many trucks head to the back of the store to unload their products. Stay in areas designed for customer parking, where you may not have to share the space with larger vehicles. If you’re a pedestrian, stick to well-lit areas and crossings intended for foot traffic.
2) Stay clear of trucks.
In parking lots, truck drivers may not have a lot of room to maneuver. Avoid parking, walking, or standing beside or behind trucks, where you might not be seen. You’ll be safest at a distance, where drivers can easily see you and where you’re not in any driver’s blind spot.
3) Be careful at entrances and exits.
Anywhere where trucks have to turn is a potential hazard because tractor trailers swing wide. Avoid getting caught between a turning truck and a curb, since the collision risk if high. Avoid getting caught between two trucks, where the drivers might not see your smaller vehicle.
4) Stay focused on safety.
You may be thinking about your shopping list, the errands you have to run, or finding the perfect parking spot, but continue to drive defensively. In a parking lot, be prepared for the unexpected and always think a few moves ahead. Obey the speed limit and any posted signs. Put away all distractions and use plenty of caution.
If you’re rear-ended in a parking lot or are involved in a hit and run accident in a parking lot, there may be multiple liable parties, including the owners of the property and the drivers involved in your crash. If you have been in a parking lot accident in Hollywood or anywhere in South Florida, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation.