The National Safety Council estimates that one in every five car accidents actually take place in parking lots or garages. That’s an astounding number, considering that over 60,000 people are also injured in those accidents; some of the fatally. What can be done about it? More importantly, how can you protect your car from parking lot accidents?
How Parking Lot Accidents Happen
There are many chances for a parking lot accident to happen. The problem is that so many cars are vying for the same small space, and there are typically no traffic signs or lights to help drivers navigate the parking lot. Here are some common causes:
- a stray shopping cart rams into a car
- a car backs up into a person or another car
- two cars accidentally back into one another
- a car drives forward out of a parking space and over a cement curb
- two cars collide at high speed
- a driver mistakes the gas for the brake and rams out of control into the store, a person or another car
- a light pole falls on top of a car
- and more….
What Can You Do To Protect Your Car?
If it sounds like total mayhem in the parking lots of the world, that’s because it can be. But many people go their whole lives without a parking lot accident. You can, too. Here’s how.
1. Park next to the shopping cart rack. When you do this, one entire side of your car is protected against things ramming into it. If there are no spots next to the shopping cart rack, park next to a tree in the lot.
2. Use your backup camera. New car models are equipped with backup cameras. Use this all the time to avoid backing into pedestrians and other cars.
3. Notice other pedestrians when you’re returning to your car. Especially be on the lookout for small children, and note where they are when you start to pull out of your space. Being aware of the pedestrian traffic around you will help you to avoid accidents.
4. Follow the directional arrows. Avoid going against the traffic, even in a nearly empty parking lot. Drivers that are backing out won’t think to look in the opposite direction and they may back right into you as you drive past.
5. Don’t cut across lanes horizontally. This is akin to driving through a busy intersection against the lights and hoping no one’s coming. It’s one of the most frequent causes of parking lot accidents.
6. Park under the light pole at night. Your car is more visible here which minimizes the odds that someone will hit it.
So there you have it; all the ways you can protect your car in parking lots. If you just do these simple things, chances are you won’t become a part of those statistics.