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Parking garages: Unsafe places for pedestrians and drivers

You will probably have to use a parking garage at some time in your life. You might have to use them regularly for work, when you go downtown to update your license or for other purposes.

If you aren't familiar with parking garages, they can be a little confusing. There is usually one-way traffic, and there are many levels that you have to drive through to find a parking spot. You have to travel slowly, because there is a high risk of pedestrians stepping out into the lane or walking between vehicles where you can't see them.

How can you prevent a parking garage accident?

The first thing to keep in mind is that everything should move much more slowly in a parking garage. If you want to avoid colliding with pedestrians or other drivers, keep your speed under the marked limit. If there is no marked limit, it's best to keep your speed under 5 mph. Doing this prevents you from not having enough time to stop if another vehicle suddenly pulls out or if a person runs or walks out in front of you.

Another thing to do is to look for tail lights and head lights. When a car is on, the driver may be preparing to back up. Slow down if you see this and wait until you know what they plan to do to move forward.

Finally, make sure you give yourself enough time. Many crashes in parking garages happen when people are in a rush. Realistically, there is no reason to have a collision in these spaces, because it's easy to slow down and avoid one another. Crashes are most likely to happen when people go the wrong way in the parking garage or when they back up quickly. As long as you're prepared to go slowly and back out of any parking spot carefully, you should be able to avoid a crash in a parking garage.

If someone does back up into you or hits you when you're a pedestrian in a parking garage, make sure you reach out to your attorney for advice on what to do next. Most of the time, you can file a claim against the other party's insurance carrier, so that you can have your medical bills and other financial losses covered. If the other driver refuses to give you their information or you're hurt, call 911 and have the police come to the scene for support.

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