How to Help Prevent a Parking Lot Accident

Aerial view of cars parked on parking lot
Posted: March 19, 2024

Parking lots are a prominent part of America’s landscape. That’s not only a land-use issue; it can also be a safety issue. Even a low-speed accident in a parking lot can result in serious injury. 

Common parking lot accidents 

A parking lot accident can happen in a matter of seconds because there can be constant movement in tight spaces and some motorists are distracted. A simple error in judgment or moment of inattention can lead to a serious collision.  

Among the more common reasons for collisions in parking lots are drivers’ 

  • backing or pulling out of parking spaces without looking; 
  • jockeying for and darting into open spaces; or 
  • angrily trying to move around one another. While most people observe the “first come, first served” rule in parking lots, some ramp up their speed just to get an open spot before someone else does—a situation that can potentially end in a collision. 

In a parking lot, cars are going forward and backward and starting and stopping, pedestrians are walking every which way, and car doors are opening suddenly. Under these circumstances, car crashes can result.  

How to reduce the risk of a parking lot accident 

Because vehicles and pedestrians in parking lots can move suddenly, erratically, and at various speeds, changing course abruptly and often without looking, you can’t be too careful. Motorists would be well advised to follow all laws and safely navigate a parking lot. Motorists are generally well advised to:  

  • Follow the flow of traffic. 

Most parking lots have attendants or signs indicating the direction of traffic. Motorists should heed them and maintain a reasonable speed. 

  • Be deliberate and patient. 

One reason parking lot accidents happen is drivers are too quick to get in their cars and pull into traffic. Motorists should take a breath and wait. 

  • Make sure your car’s ready. 

An unobstructed 360-degree view is especially important in a parking lot. In bad weather, motorists should be sure that windows are clear on all sides. 

Bottom line? Follow the rules of the road as set forward in the Vehicle and Traffic Law. And use common sense. 

What to do if you’re in a parking lot accident 

If you’re in a collision requiring a 911 call, some steps to consider (in no particular order) include:  

  • Relax; you’ll be a better problem-solver; 
  • Get out of potential harm’s way;  
  • Check to see if you or anyone else is hurt;  
  • Call 911. The responding officer’s report will document that the crash happened and list involved parties and their insurance companies.   
  • If safe and practical, take photos of the vehicles and surrounding area.  
  • Exchange insurance and contact information with other drivers involved in the accident. 
  • Go to an emergency room and get checked for injuries. 
  • Notify all applicable insurance companies, including the insurance company for the car you were occupying or operating. 

Of course, every crash is different. But these are some general steps to consider after a parking lot crash.  

Hurt in a parking lot? Call William Mattar 

If you’re injured in a parking lot crash, call William Mattar, P.C., at 844-444-4444, or fill out our online form requesting a free consultation. Our Buffalo car accident lawyers focus on collisions and can protect your rights and advocate for your maximum compensation while you recover.  

Related Blog Articles
Our Achievements
We are proud to announce that William Mattar was named one of 2021’s Best Companies to Work for in New York. As a firm focused on helping people, we understand that this starts with how we treat each other. We’re happy to be recognized for creating such a notably positive work environment!

Start a Free Case Evaluation

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.