Massachusetts Legal Blog
Six Tips for Avoiding Accidents in Crowded Parking Lots
Many drivers in Boston assume that parking garages and lots are always safer that parking along the curb and opening up your car door into traffic. In some cases, they are. However, many individuals are surprised to find out that accidents in seemingly safe parking areas are a common occurrence. In fact, The National Safety Council reports that over 50,000 car accidents occur in parking lots on a yearly basis. That is over five accidents per hour!
Parking lots are incredibly busy places. Drivers must not only be on the lookout for other vehicles, but also pedestrians and other hazards, such as shopping carts. At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., we know the last thing you need to deal is recovering from serious injury caused by an accident in a parking lot that otherwise could have been avoided. That’s why we compiled this list of safety tips to keep in mind the next time you head to the store and are cruising around a parking lot looking for a space.
- Drive Slowly- Some drivers treat busy parking lots more like racetracks than they should. While these motorists are behaving in a reckless manner, there is no reason that you should as well. We recommend you navigate parking lots at the safe speed of 5mph. This meandering pace will give you more time to react to pedestrians and other vehicles, and help you navigate the parking area safely.
- Remember to Use Your Signals- Just because you are in a parking lot does not mean proper driving etiquette goes out the window. Other drivers and pedestrians are not mind readers, so if you intend to turn into a spot, be sure to signal so everyone around you knows that’s your intention. It’s a good idea to use your turn signal even when you’re turning from one lane to another – better to let other drivers know what you plan on doing rather than have them guess!
- Try Not to Obstruct the Flow- If the parking lot is busy, try not to execute a complicated maneuver to nab a spot. Taking ten minutes to back into a spot in a busy parking area can create heavy congestion and may even lead to a road rage incident. Be thoughtful of those around you and try to find a convenient spot in a manner that leads to less parking garage traffic.
- Turn on Your Headlights- Many parking garages are poorly lit and have reduced visibility – not to mention blind spots – even during the day. In order to make your vehicle more visible to other drivers and pedestrians, get in the habit of turning your headlights on. It might even help you see more clearly as well!
- Be Carful When Backing Out- You should never solely rely on backup cameras and mirrors when backing out of or into a parking space. Instead, always have your head on a swivel and constantly be on the lookout for pedestrians, oncoming cars, and parked vehicles near you. If you are parked next to a much larger vehicle, back out very slowly so any oncoming traffic can see you and avoid colliding with your vehicle.
- Always Approach with Caution- Parking garages and parking lots are filled with blind spots and traffic signage that often gets ignored. To ensure safety at all times, it’s best to treat any signage just like you would a regular stop sign or other traffic symbol. Also, always approach blind spots with extreme caution and only proceed when you know it’s 100% safe to do so.
Navigating a crowded parking lot can be frustrating at times, especially when other drivers are being impatient and making dangerous decisions. If you’ve been involved in a car accident that took place in a parking garage and you were seriously injured as a result, you may be able to secure compensation that will help you properly recover from your injuries. The experienced legal team at DiBella Law Offices, P.C., has represented accident victims throughout Boston for over a decade. For more information and a free consultation of your case, please call our offices at (617) 870-0907.
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