Avoid Parking Lot Accidents
Parking lots in Tucson – we love the convenience but hate the frustrations. Carelessness in parking lots just so happens to be the cause of many a door ding and irritated driver. Even worse, careless behavior can cause a collision or injury.
The agents at Budget Insurance and Tucson Insurance Solutions see parking lot accident claims much too frequently. We want to help you avoid parking lot accidents by giving you a few tips to make parking lots safer for everyone:
1. Don’t Speed
Speeding decreases the amount of time you have to react when a child runs out in front of you, another driver stops suddenly or a car begins backing out unexpectedly. Is a collision – or even a fatality – really worth the price of getting to your destination just a bit sooner?
2. Use Your Eyes – and Mirrors and Cameras
Follow this rule and you can avoid most any parking lot accident: Look, look and look again! Keep a lookout for perils at all times, even if the lot seems empty. When you’re pulling into a spot, watch for doors being opened. When backing out, look all around, in your mirrors and in your rear-view camera and proceed slowly.
3. Give Yourself – and Others – Some Space
Parking in between the lines and in a spot sized for your vehicle may help to minimize dings and scratches. Better yet, park in a less-crowded area and enjoy the stroll into the store – just don’t park where you feel unsafe. And, always park away from stray carts.
4. Expect the Unexpected
Assume things will happen. That someone will dart out in front of you, that a cart will come rolling toward you, that someone backing out of his/her spot won’t see you backing out of yours. When you’re on guard, you’re better prepared for those who aren’t.
5. Be Respectful
A little kindness goes a long way in a parking lot or parking garage. So stop for pedestrians, don’t cause traffic jams waiting for a spot and, above all, don’t lose your cool.
Remember, when you’re watching for dangers, you have a better chance of avoiding them. If an incident does occur, we here at Budget Insurance and Tucson Insurance Solutions are ready to help.
Who's at fault in a parking lot accident?
When an accident happens, you don't always know who is at fault. Here are a few common scenarios:
Two drivers back up into each other – Both cars are moving, so both drivers are responsible for that movement. Neither driver has the right of way. Each is responsible for checking to be sure it is safe to back up before doing so. In this parking lot accident, who is at fault? It is likely both drivers will share fault for the accident.
A driver pulls forward out of a space, into the lane of traffic – Both cars are moving so both drivers are responsible. In a parking lot, drivers in the traffic lane have the right of way, so the driver who pulled out of the space is likely the majority at fault in the accident.
A driver backs out of a space, into an oncoming car – Because both vehicles are moving, each driver may hold some responsibility. But, the driver in the traffic lane has the right of way. The driver who is backing out is responsible for waiting until it is safe to back out. The driver backing out is likely to be deemed primarily at fault in this parking lot accident.
Two cars eyeing for the same space collide – While rushing to get a parking space, one car collides with another. Both vehicles were moving, so both drivers have responsibility. Which driver has the right of way? As on a roadway, the driver making a turn across traffic must yield to oncoming traffic. The driver turning left into the parking space is likely the majority at fault in this accident. Of course other factors such as the points of impact on the vehicles, how far each vehicle was into the parking space when the collision occurred, and the speed of the vehicle prior to impact will also affect who is assigned responsibility for the accident.
A car rear-ends another at a stop sign – In this case, only one vehicle is moving. The moving vehicle is generally at fault in this type of accident, whether it occurs in a parking lot or on the roadway. Even if the car in front stops suddenly at a stop sign, the driver in the second car is likely to be at fault. Drivers are expected to provide enough distance between their car and the vehicle in front of them to avoid a rear-end collision.
Parking lot accidents generally will not involve a police report. If you are involved in a parking lot accident, exchange insurance information with the driver of the other vehicle. If possible, gather contact information from others who witnessed the accident. Take photos of the accident. Call your insurance company to report the accident as soon as it is safe to do so. Taking these steps can help determine who's at fault in a parking lot accident.