Safety on the roadways is always a top priority and something we hear about frequently – but motor vehicle safety in parking lots? Crashes in parking lots are more frequent than you might think.

Across the country, tens of thousands of accidents happen in parking garages and parking lots every year. Hundreds die and thousands more are injured. Many parking lot crashes go unreported, so this number may even be higher.

Electronic distractions a main factor

There are many reasons accidents happen in parking lots but mainly it’s electronic related distracted driving. In a National Security Council (NCS) public opinion poll, 66 percent of respondents stated that they engaged in distracted driving behaviors while driving through parking lots. Many admitted to texting, talking on the phone, emailing, using social media and programing their GPS.

 

Be aware

While it’s always a good idea to drive slowly through a parking lot, the NCS says there are other things you can do to be safe. We can all take steps toward prevention – both driver and pedestrian alike.

  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings.
  • Take care of your electronic needs before you put the car in drive.
  • Stay in the marked lanes and don’t cut through the middle of the lot.
  • Anticipate the actions of others.
  • Obey the traffic signage.
  • Watch for pedestrians and other vehicles when backing up.

The NCS says that 9 percent of parking lot fatalities are related to back-up incidents and suggests that drivers not rely entirely on their back up cameras. Drivers should do a quick walk-around their car and look over their shoulder when backing out. In addition, back up alert technology is useful, but may miss small children or motorcycles.

 

Parking lots can be a dangerous place. To stay safe, use extra caution when you’re out shopping and be cognizant of your surroundings.

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