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Parking Lot Accidents Account for One in Five Collisions

parking lot, personal injuryParking lot accidents caused by distracted drivers account for one in five collisions. Drivers checking cell phones for missed calls, messages and social media updates commonly lead to personal injury claims with an injury lawyer.

Parking Lot Accidents and Injuries

According to the National Safety Council, two out of three drivers pulling into parking lots, parking garages and shopping centers are distracted, causing numerous accidents and injuries while in these locations. Cell phones are the leading culprit for parking lot collisions. Drivers commonly make calls and check for missed calls, messages and social media updates while pulling into a parking lot or parking the car. Since drivers are typically going under 10 miles per hour in parking lot areas, there’s a false sense of security that cell phone use is safe. However, accident statistics seen by an injury lawyer show that parking lot collisions often have deadly consequences.

The National Safety Council estimates that each year approximately 60,000 people are injured and 500 more are killed in parking lot accidents in the United States. Studies show that when drivers are going 5 to 10 mph in a parking lot, they often have their heads down and are not paying attention to what’s in front of them. This puts other drivers, as well as pedestrians, at a high risk for serious injuries. In 2016, parking lot video cameras captured images of a young mother pushing her baby in a stroller across a busy laundry mat parking lot when a distracted driver struck them, killing the mother. In another incident, video showed a distracted driver on a cell phone slamming into nine cars before coming to a stop after losing control at the wheel.

Preventing Accidents

Distracted drivers in parking lots cause serious accidents and injuries, especially during holidays and peak shopping hours when cars and pedestrians are at a maximum. Unfortunately, National Safety Council surveys show that 66 percent of drivers say they are comfortable making cell phone calls while driving in a parking lot, and 50 percent say they are comfortable texting. Most drivers surveyed said they would have no problem with checking cell phone messages and social media accounts or sending emails, taking pictures and watching videos while driving at slow speeds. These concerning findings raise questions for drivers and injury lawyers about the need for more parking lot safety measures and local safety laws to prevent parking lot accidents and injuries.