Distracted Driving Linked to Parking Lot Accidents
A Weirton Car Accident Attorney Explains
Malls, supermarkets, shopping plazas, and warehouse stores are very busy places during the holiday season. Parking lots and parking garages get lots of traffic with shoppers coming and going. Unfortunately, these parking areas are also the sites of car accidents that can leave people seriously injured or even killed.
Insurance companies see the number of accident claims increase sharply on Black Friday – and the number of claims stays high during the holidays, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Across the country, there are tens of thousands of accidents in parking lots and garages. These crashes result in thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths.
Drivers Asked About Their Behaviors
An NSC public opinion poll suggests that distracted driving is a significant factor in these crashes. Respondents were asked if they would engage in certain activities while driving in a parking lot. Their responses:
- Make or answer phone calls – 66%
- Use a GPS/navigation system – 63%
- Adjust settings on a digital music device – 58%
- Review or send text messages – 56%
- Glance at or read alerts or notifications – 56%
- Groom (fix appearance) – 53%
- Use social media – 52%
- Review or send emails – 50%
- Look at, take or post photos or videos – 49%
Teens were more likely to engage in personal grooming but said they were less likely to be on the phone. In addition, drivers are more likely to be in a rush or thinking about things they have to do during the holidays.
Parking Lot Safety Tips for Drivers
The NSC suggests some safety tips for drivers while in parking lots:
- Stay in lanes.
- Don’t cut across the lot or parking spaces.
- Drive slowly.
- Use turn signals.
- Anticipate what other drivers are going to do.
- Obey signs (such as stop and no parking).
The NSC also suggests always being on the lookout for pedestrians in the lot, especially when backing out of a parking space. Their analysis of data revealed that backup incidents accounted for 9% of pedestrian deaths in parking lots. They recommend not simply relying on backup cameras, but also looking over your shoulder and using mirrors.
Holding negligent drivers accountable
When drivers are distracted, they aren’t paying attention to driving. During those few seconds of distraction, a pedestrian can walk behind or in front of the car. Another vehicle can back up into the car’s path. A few seconds is all it takes to cause an accident that leaves someone seriously injured.
Victims of parking lot accidents can be impacted physically, emotionally, and financially. They are hurt and need medical treatment. They may be unable to work or take part in their usual activities. Medical expenses can add up very quickly and it can become difficult to pay the bills.
Distracted drivers need to be held accountable for the results of their negligence. But they may deny doing anything wrong. They may even blame the injured person for what happened. Insurance companies are supposed to help, but they will try to pay as little as possible. Sometimes they’ll make a lowball settlement offer and say it’s the best that they can do.
At Recht Law Offices, we don’t think that’s good enough. Our firm has been fighting for the injured since 1952. Our experienced car accident attorneys fight back against insurance companies by building strong cases to help clients get the compensation they deserve.
If you’ve been injured, contact us to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.