Comprehensive Injury Representation Backed By More Than 40 Years’ Combined Experience

Why are parking lots so dangerous for pedestrians?

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2024 | Personal Injury

Most people received thorough instruction about road safety as pedestrians from a young age. Parents drill the idea into children to always look both ways carefully before crossing the street. That habit often carries over into adulthood, with most pedestrians trying to monitor their surroundings and cross roads at visible locations to protect themselves from crashes. Sadly, they may fail to take similar steps in another high-risk environment.

Many people assume that pedestrian risk is highest in areas with higher speed limits. There is a correlation between the speed of a vehicle and the likelihood of severe injury or death in a pedestrian crash. However, areas that should see mostly low-speed travel are among the most dangerous for pedestrians.

Vehicles in parking lots should not travel nearly as rapidly as vehicles out on the open road. People might assume that lower speed and an awareness of how many possessions may be in a parking lot make them relatively safe. Yet, elevated distraction levels may effectively eliminate any safety benefits gleaned from lower speeds and more theoretical driver awareness.

Drivers don’t avoid distraction as much in parking lots

Most motorists acknowledge that it is unsafe to intentionally use a phone out on the road. They may be very proactive about limiting their distractions related to technology during their daily commutes. Sadly, those same drivers might think nothing of handling digital devices while cruising through a parking lot. Roughly two-thirds of drivers admitted to making phone calls while operating a vehicle in a parking lot. More than half of drivers admitted to texting, using social media and sending or receiving videos while driving in parking lots. Just under half or 49% of drivers admitted to either recording or watching videos in parking lots.

Even someone driving at just 15 miles an hour could knock a pedestrian down if their eyes are on their phone instead of on their surroundings. That pedestrian could break a bone or suffer a brain injury that causes massive medical expenses and lost wages. Motor vehicle insurance can help reimburse those injured in a parking lot incident just as it would provide coverage for a crash on public roads.