Parking lots are a prime place for vehicular accidents. When cars and pedestrians are thrown together into a constricted space, especially on a busy shopping day, the results can range from dented fenders to traumatic injuries.
A report from the University at Albany (SUNY) entitled, “Parking Lots: Where motorists become pedestrians,” mentions statistics from Montgomery County on parking lot accidents; between January 2006 and June 2008, 22% of county accidents involving pedestrians and automobiles took place in parking lots. And this statistic doesn’t cover the dangers (and property damage) from vehicle-vehicle collision.
Even though cars may be going at lower speeds in a parking lot, they can still cause devastation, especially to pedestrians or other vulnerable road users such as bicyclists. For example, in Ellicott City, a recent accident injured three people (one of them critically) when an SUV hit two pedestrians walking outside of a Dunkin’ Donuts store and then continued driving into the store, pushing the victims along the way and causing more damage. According to news reports, the SUV driver wasn’t speeding and had just driven out of a parking spot by the store.
Parking lot accidents can occur for a number of reasons, including the following:
- Drivers are so busy looking for a parking space that they don’t pay attention to other cars and pedestrians.
- There are potentially many distractions in a crowded parking lot, along with the need to share a relatively small space with numerous cars and people.
- Drivers backing out of a parking space don’t proceed cautiously enough, especially given that their view is blocked by other parked cars.
- People in general might become more lax about safety, thinking that if they aren’t on a road, they can relax their guard. Drivers may not buckle up or use headlights. Pedestrians may run out from between parked cars and into the path of oncoming vehicles. People may send shopping carts rolling freely into the mix.
After a parking lot accident, it’s important to contact an experienced Montgomery County accident lawyer. You may need assistance while coping with injuries and serious property damage. It’s also possible to run into other difficulties, such as a hit-and-run accident where another driver collided with your parked car and then left the scene, leaving you on the hook for the damage. An attorney can give you invaluable advice and assistance.
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