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Different types of car accidents in parking lots

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Believe it or not, car accidents in parking lots are a common occurrence. During the holidays, parking lots near malls and retail businesses become extremely congested, with people buying and returning merchandise. Car accidents are more likely to occur when everyone is in a rush and preoccupied with to-do lists. Drivers may be easily distracted or have restricted visibility due to their surroundings. Parking lot accidents are more likely to occur at low speeds, but it doesn’t mean it is not dangerous. These accidents, which are sometimes dismissed as minor fender benders, can result in serious injuries. 

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These cases can be problematic because it is not always clear who is to blame. Even if you live in a no-fault state for car insurance, determining culpability may be necessary for getting benefits. If you believe you were partially to blame, you should not admit it at the scene. Instead, wait for authorities to look into what happened.

Statistics of parking lot accidents

Accidents in parking lots are not insignificant occurrences, and they are frequently more dangerous than people believe. More than 60000 of these collisions occur each year, resulting in more than 75000 injuries and up to 500 deaths. Distracted driving and speeding are two of the most prominent causes of parking lot accidents. Drivers neglect to look before exiting or entering spaces and race other drivers for a better spot. The most frequent ones are when drivers ignore parking lot signs and traffic signals instructing them to stop or yield to oncoming cars.

Drivers can sustain potentially significant injuries resulting from collisions, including muscle strains and sprains, fractured bones, whiplash, and concussions. It’s not just drivers and passengers who are in danger. Pedestrians face considerable threats from cars pulling out or crashes near store doors and exits when strolling through parking lots.

car accidents can happen in parking lots

Types of accidents in parking lots

There are five main types of parking lot accidents to be aware of:

  • When cars back up from their parking space.
  • Collision of a car driving out of parking space and into the path of an oncoming car.
  • When a car backs out of parking space into traffic.
  • When two cars are fighting for the same parking spot clash.
  • In traffic or at a stop sign, one car rear-ends another.

In a parking lot incident, the main criteria for deciding who is responsible is which car was moving at the moment of the accident. At all times, drivers must maintain control of their cars. If you are driving and collide with a parked car, you will likely be held responsible for the accident.

Both drivers may be legally accountable for at least a portion of the accident if both cars are on the move. In these scenarios, it’s important to assess how fast each car was moving and whether the drivers were engaging in risky behaviors, including speeding, distracted driving, aggressive driving, or driving while intoxicated.

Due to the limited environment, most parking lot car accidents occur at lower speeds, yet this does not negate the significance of the outcomes. The occupants in the car can suffer head trauma and spinal cord damage depending on a variety of circumstances such as the car’s size and angle and the driver’s body posture and medical history.

How to avoid accidents in parking lots

Entering and leaving parking space:

Before approaching or exiting a parking space, drivers are supposed to check the area around them. This entails checking mirrors and blind spots and paying special attention to any section of their environment where sight is limited. When drivers fail to see a pedestrian in a blind spot, or another car backing out of a spot on the opposite side of the parking lane, accidents can occur. When one motorist begins to reverse and pull out of a parking position, another driver should generally wait until they have exited and give them enough room to maneuver properly. 

It can be tough to tell who went into reverse and started backing up first in a crowded parking lot. The fact that you backed up and collided with another car does not necessarily mean you were at blame.

avoid car accidents in parking lots

The good practice of yielding:

Most people don’t think of parking lots as roadways. Therefore they may not be aware of the rules requiring them to yield in certain instances. Some of the restrictions, such as the requirement that a car is leaving a parking place yield to cars traveling through the parking lane behind them, which have the right of way, may seem reasonable. 

Drivers must also yield to pedestrians in a parking lot wherever they encounter. Even if they are not near a crosswalk or another location where you would expect to see them. Suppose a car in front of you obscures your view., you should take special care to maneuver around it carefully. 

Larger parking lots with perimeter lanes around the lot and parking lanes between the spaces have a less evident yield regulation. In most cases, drivers in the perimeter lanes have the right of way. As a result, a driver in a parking lane who fails to yield to a driver in a perimeter lane will almost certainly be held responsible for the resulting collision. There is an exception when a stop sign, yield sign, or other traffic control device specifies that drivers in the parking lane have the right of way. If a car in the perimeter lane fails to respect the sign or device, they will most likely be held accountable if they collide with a driver exiting the parking lane.

Yielding can prevent car accidents in parking lots

Important terms to know

Right of Way: When two cars are backing up, the one who started backing up first usually has the right of way. Both drivers, however, have a responsibility to ensure that they are operating in a reasonably safe manner.

Perimeter lanes: If no traffic control device, such as a yield sign, is present, the driver in the perimeter or through the lane has the right of way.

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What to do after being in a parking lot accident?

You should call 911, exchange information with other drivers, get medical attention, and inform your insurance company. Call or contact your car insurance company or your insurance agent. This is before your make any statements, accept a settlement, or admit fault for a parking lot accident. Take pictures of the damage with your phone as proof.

Check out our blogs for info on finding top-rated airport parking, the best parking spots in your city, and affordable car washes near you.


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