If you’re driving through a parking garage, you know to look out for people who are going to be walking through the garage. You also know that there may be people trying to back out of their parking spots, so you’re cautious to watch out for them as well.
What you can’t predict is if someone will suddenly back out too quickly and hit you as you drive past them. You can’t predict someone coming up behind you and hitting your vehicle or suddenly stopping in the lane and reversing into you.
Unfortunately, those kinds of crashes are common in parking garages.
Aren’t parking garage crashes low-impact collisions? What damage could they cause?
Despite the fact that parking garage crashes do normally take place at low speeds, there are still injuries that could take place. If you’re hit as a pedestrian, you could have broken bones or injuries to your internal organs. If you’re a driver, you may have whiplash or a brain injury from hitting your head.
Remember, even though two vehicles may be traveling 15 or 20 mph, if they hit head-on, that force is multiplied by two. So, if someone backs out into you while you’re moving forward, you may be involved in a crash with twice as much force as you’d expect.
How can you be safer in a parking garage?
If you are walking through a parking garage, make sure you stay in pedestrian walkways. If you have to cross the main lane, look both ways, even if the lane is only a one-way road.
As a driver, you can slow down. Turn on your lights, and flash them if you think someone doesn’t see you. Since parking garages are often dark, your lights could be just as effective as your horn in letting someone know you’re nearby.
If you’ll be backing out of a space and it’s hard to see, go slowly. Tap your acceleration and brakes until you can see the lane fully. At that point, most drivers will stop to allow you out or let you know they’re present by honking or flashing their lights.
These tips can help keep you safe. If you’re hit in a parking lot, it’s worth looking into your options to seek compensation for any injuries you’ve suffered.