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You may be surprised to learn that more vehicle incidents occur per mile driven in parking lots than on public roadways. Often these are low speed incidents involving backing or impact with fixed objects. It is not uncommon for drivers to be distracted while backing out of a parking space or driving through the lot. How many times have you honked your horn at someone in a parking lot that was obviously not paying attention? And, what do they usually do – look at you as if you did something wrong.

There are several reasons so many incidents occur in parking lots. Here are a few:

  • Drivers understand the risks on the roadways, but many drop their guard once they turn off the street and into a parking lot.
  • Drivers tend to focus more on finding a parking spot and forget about watching for other drivers and objects.
  • Most drivers pull “head in” into a parking spot. Then, when backing out there can be blind spots from other vehicles.
  • Traffic laws are non-existent. Most parking lots are private property. Hence, drivers often roll through stop signs, travel against the directional arrows or cut between parked cars. Vehicles can be coming from any direction…any time.

Putting all this together, it’s clear the danger doesn’t end once you reach the parking lot. To help avoid parking lot accidents…

  • Drive slowly.
  • Watch for rolling carts, running kids, and parents with strollers.
  • Obey all stop, one way, and yield signs.
  • Avoid cutting diagonally across the lot
  • Center your car between the white lines.
  • When backing up, be mindful of vehicles and pedestrians behind you.
  • Avoid distractions such as cell phones, texting, and adjusting the radio.

These tips will not guarantee that you will be accident-free, but they will surely reduce the chances. Next time you need to stop for groceries after a long day at the office, remember to be a little more observant and careful, and have a lot more patience.

Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association as well as their ABA Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.

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