two men after a fender bender in a parking lot

7 Ways to Prevent Parking Lot Accidents

No one wants to experience a car accident – not even a minor fender bender.

We all do many things to try to avoid accidents at all costs.

However, there are some places and situations in which car accidents occur frequently.

One of the most common locations for car accidents is in parking lots. According to motor vehicle accident statistics, one in five accidents happens in a parking lot. 14% of all auto damage claims are from accidents that occurred there. 

Parking lot accidents are avoidable in most cases. You can save yourself a lot of time and hassle by learning how to prevent these types of accidents. You’ll also keep you and your passengers safe and your car looking new as well.

Read on to learn how to avoid parking lot accidents. The following tips will help you to prevent fender benders now and in the future so that you can always continue on your merry way without any issues or delays.

1. Take It Easy

The first rule of driving in parking lots is to take it easy and drive slowly. Parking lots can be very frustrating, especially when there is a lot of foot and motor traffic when you are searching for a spot. However, it’s crucial that you inch along at a low speed. This way, you’ll avoid parking lot accidents and you’ll keep everyone around you safe, too.

2. Limit Distractions

There are often many things going on inside your car, and those things can make it difficult to pay attention to all the things that are going on outside your car.

If you’re listening to music, looking at your shopping list on your phone, checking on your kids in the back, and drinking a hot coffee, that’s four things going on simultaneously that can distract you from driving. As a result, you are much more likely to cut someone off or hit a pedestrain or other vehicle. 

Instead, turn down the music. Wait until you are parked to check your shopping list and to sip your coffee. And, be sure to bring activities for your kids to help them stay focused and busy on car rides. All of the above strategies will help you to stay focused on parking and will help you to avoid a parking lot crash.

3. Watch Out for Obstacles 

There’s as much if not more going on outside of your car as well. You need to stay on high alert for obstacles. Most of the obstacles that you’ll encounter in a parking lot are moving, so the path before you can change in an instant.

Pedestrians often don’t pay attention to their surroundings; since you’re the one driving the car, you need to be on the look out for them. You’ll also need to watch for distracted drivers that pull out of spaces without looking, and runaway shopping carts, especially on windy days.

4. Use Your Mirrors – But Not Only Your Mirrors 

Make sure your mirrors are adjusted properly so you are able to see all around you. However, don’t forget that even perfectly set mirrors have blind spots, so don’t depend on your mirrors alone. Take the time and make the effort to actually turn around and look behind you before and during any back-up maneuver. 

If your car doesn’t already have one, you might also consider installing a back-up camera so you can see the area behind you better. Again, though, don’t depend on your back-up camera only. Use your eyes to look behind you as well. 

5. Park Smart

When parking, park wisely. You can avoid a lot of congestion in parking lots if you park on the outskirts; you’ll also get some extra exercise when you walk to and from each building you visit. 

Further, look for parking spots where you can pull all the way through so your front end is facing out. It could be easier for you to pull out forward when its time to go instead of backing up into a busy parking lot aisle. Do so with caution and respect right of way while driving in the parking lot.

6. Use Your Turn Signals

Hopefully, you always use your turn signals when driving, but many people tend to forget to use them in parking lots. This can lead to unnecessary accidents. 

Use your turn signals any time you plan to turn in a parking lot. This includes turning into a spot, pulling out of a spot, turning into a new aisle, pulling out of an aisle, and turning on or off a thoroughfare. Informing other drivers and pedestrians of your intentions will help to keep you accident-free.

7. Drive Defensively

The most important tip on this list is to always drive in a defensive manner. You must be alert to your surroundings at all times and you must be prepared to react in an instant. The only person you can trust while driving is yourself; you can’t know for certain what any other driver or pedestrian will do until he or she does it.

When you drive defensively, you will be prepared for anything. As a result, you will stay safe and you will be able to avoid most accidents – in parking lots or anywhere.

Avoid Parking Lot Accidents

All of the above tips will help you to avoid common parking lot accidents and will keep you, your vehicle, your passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers safe and sound. Stay alert, be careful, don’t rush, and drive in a defensive manner and you will be able to get to and from your destination without any issues. Good luck and be careful out there!

However, if you do end up experiencing a parking lot crash, call a personal injury attorney right away. The sooner you follow up with a lawyer after your accident, the sooner you can be compensated for it. If you’re looking for experienced personal injury attorneys in Austin, give us a call today. We can’t wait to meet you.