Parking Lots Can Be More Dangerous Than You Think
Speed kills-it is well known that there is a correlation between the number and severity of car accidents, and speed. States that have the highest speed limits tend to have the highest number of accidents.
That’s why it may be a surprise to you to learn that a place where we tend to drive quite slowly—parking lots—actually can be the cause of a number of accidents.
Why are Parking Lots so Dangerous?
There are a lot of things about parking lots that can make them so dangerous, and a place where accidents are likely to happen.
The first problem is that parking lots are generally private property. There are few laws that tell a property owner where to draw lane lines or where to put up what kind of sign. Most responsible property owners know where dangerous intersections may be, or where car control may be needed in their parking lot—but not all do.
When there is confusion, or insufficient traffic control signals (lines on the road or signage), or none of these at all. accidents can happen, and the drivers in the accident often end up blaming each other, given that who is at fault in a parking lot accident isn’t as clear as it is outside the parking lot, where you likely have stop signs or traffic lights or clearly marked lane lines.
Distraction is a Problem
The other problem with parking lots is distraction. People in parking lots often are looking for spaces; they aren’t looking for other cars—or pedestrians. Distracted driving can be very high in parking lots.
Combine this distracted driving with a parking lot’s natural tendency to have people walking in and around them. Unlike on a normal road, where pedestrians generally walk on the sidewalk, or cross at crosswalks, in parking lots, pedestrians may be walking in the middle of the road, or walking through parking lanes, where they can suddenly appear from behind parked cars.
Those pedestrians aren’t necessarily looking out for themselves either—like the drivers, they are often distracted.
Proving Parking Lot Accident Cases
Parking lot accident cases can be difficult to prove, given the lack of clarity over who has the right of way. We even generally accept that pedestrians will walk in the middle of the road, something that would be blatantly careless on a normal roadway.
Property owners that maintain security cameras may provide some benefit, and the fact that there are people walking in parking lots often means that there may be more witnesses to parking lot accidents.
Because many parking lot accidents happen at lower speeds, there may not be skid marks on the road, or severe damage to cars—both things that accident reconstructionists would normally use, in determining how an accident happened and who was at fault.
Call the Knoxville car accident lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today if you were injured in a parking lot car accident.