Parking Lot Safety During COVID-19
Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, one of the key things we’ve been told to do is stay home as much as possible. But while many businesses have been ordered to temporarily close their doors until things calm down, not all businesses are closed for business. Here in Michigan, many businesses that have been deemed essential have been allowed to stay open and some of those types of businesses may even be busier than usual.
Grocery stores are a prime example. We’ve all seen the pictures of empty grocery store shelves that have been cleared out by crowds of people trying to stock up their pantries. At a time like this, it’s easy to focus on protecting ourselves by sanitizing shopping carts and keeping your distance from other shoppers. But as important as those steps are, it’s also important to not lose sight of staying safe in the parking lot.
Parking lot car accidents are an extremely common occurrence. Every year, tens of thousands of crashes happen in parking lots and while some of those may be minor fender-benders, they can potentially cause serious injuries and even death. These types of crashes can happen at any time of year, but they often tend to occur more frequently during times when people are busy shopping, such as during the holiday season. As you head out to the grocery store during this pandemic, here are some important tips to help keep you and others safe in the parking lot.
Expect the Unexpected
Between so many people walking around and cars backing out of spaces, it’s important to be on high alert for unexpected activity. Even if your car has features like a backup camera and a rear cross-traffic alert system, it’s still important to be on high alert for other drivers and people walking near your car. While these types of systems can help prevent accidents, remember that this technology isn’t perfect and your awareness may be able to catch something that technology doesn’t.
Focus on Your Surroundings
With so much activity in parking lots, drivers and pedestrians alike need to be aware of what’s going on around them. Distracted driving is an extremely common cause of parking lot accidents. According to a study by the National Safety Council, 66% of drivers said they would make phone calls while driving through parking lots. Other activities like texting, using social media, and programming GPS systems can also easily lead to a crash with another driver or a pedestrian, particularly when backing out of a parking space.
The severity of a car crash can depend on several different factors with speed being one of the biggest ones. Parking lots are meant to be driven in very slowly and when people drive too fast, the more likely it is for serious accidents to occur. With a speeding driver, a parking lot crash that might have been a minor fender-bender at a slow speed could end up involving more damage or injuries. If a speeding driver hits a pedestrian, there’s a possibility that the pedestrian could be fatally injured.
Follow the Rules
Unfortunately, many drivers think that rules don’t apply in parking lots. Sometimes, they’ll cut diagonally across empty parking spots and ignore stop signs or painted markings telling drivers which direction to go in. When this happens, others in the parking lot might not be able to react in time to prevent an accident.
Whether you’re an occupant of a car or a pedestrian, injuries caused by a parking lot car accident can have a major impact on your life. If you’ve been injured, don’t hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to get help from a lawyer experienced in handling Michigan car accident cases. Contact us today for help with your case.
Image: iStock / simonkr