We all know how dangerous it is to lose focus while proceeding through a busy intersection or cruising down a highway. But it’s all too easy to overlook how reckless it is to divert our attention in parking lots.
The National Safety Council reported one in five accidents happen in parking lots, and as many as two-thirds of drivers who pull into shopping centers may be distracted.
In a typical year, approximately 60,000 are injured and 500 or more die in the 50,000 plus parking lot crashes. Most of the fatalities are pedestrians.
Being in a slow-moving parking lot can create a false sense of security among drivers and pedestrians.
Drivers sometimes assume that the slower pace presents an ideal opportunity to use their phones. Even if they’re backing out of a parking space.
Though this will probably become less of an issue as more vehicles integrate rear-view cameras, many parking lot car accidents involve backing vehicles.
When parking spots are hard to come by, drivers can become so preoccupied with finding one that they become oblivious to the other cars and pedestrians around them.
Another factor is that drivers tend to underestimate the amount of vehicle and foot traffic in crowded lots. It can be difficult to see around corners, and too many drivers proceed without the necessary caution.
On the other hand, pedestrians tend to assume that vehicles will always be moving slowly in parking lots, which should be (but often isn’t) the case.
It’s easy to feel like you’ve arrived at your destination once you reach the parking lot. But make sure you keep your focus on your immediate surroundings until your vehicle is completely stationary in your parking spot.
Hupy and Abraham is passionate about keeping all roads and parking lots safe for drivers and pedestrians alike. Click here to request your free "Yield to Pedestrians" sticker.